When good religions go bad
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When Good Religions Go Bad. Good Religions. As we discussed earlier this week religions all encourage love, compassion, hope, tolerance and healing. Many religions also even teach “nonviolence”. And yet…. Religions Can Go Bad!.

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When good religions go bad

When Good Religions GoBad

Good religions
Good Religions

As we discussed earlier this week religions all encourage love, compassion, hope, tolerance and healing. Many religions also even teach “nonviolence”.

And yet…

Religions can go bad
Religions Can Go Bad!

We often see religious difference as the root of hatred, war, and violence in the war.

Religious leader, politicians, or average citizens use religious beliefs to justify harm instead of healing, hate instead of love.

I agree with macklemore on this one
I Agree With Macklemore On This One..

  • In his song Same Love, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis point out this issue:

  • A word rooted in hate

  • Yet our genre still ignores it

  • “Gay” is synonymous with the lesser

  • It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion

  • Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment

  • The same fight that led people to walk-outs and sit-ins

  • It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference

  • Live on! And be yourself!

  • When I was in church they taught me something else

  • That Holy Water that you soak in has been poisoned

Let s be clear don t blame the religion
Let’s Be Clear- Don’t Blame the Religion

It is of the upmost importance to realize that when people hurt, subjugate, or kill others in the name of their God- they are perverting (twisting), rather than representing, the true teaching of their faith.

Can t we all just get along what is causing these problems
Can’t We All Just Get Along?What is Causing These Problems?!

Unholy alliances
Unholy Alliances

One historical reason that the authentic religious message of unity gets twisted is the combining of religion and political power.

When religious institutions make deals with monarchs and rulers to support their reign in return for the ruler’s support of the religion, they forge an alliance that can pervert the true meaning of religion.

-Can you think of an example?

Politicizing religion
Politicizing Religion

Sometimes, the real difference between religions are not so much religious differences as they are political or economic, but religion is used to justify or explain the conflicts that result.

For example- two countries may be fighting over a small amount of land or money, but they use religion in their battle to secure economic security or equality.

Abuse of holy power
Abuse of Holy Power

Another way religion can divide people is when religion takes and holds secular power for itself and becomes distorted in the process.

For example, people may use religious power to claim control over land, people, or money!

There is a famous example of this occurring- can you think of what that may be?

Intertwining culture and faith
Intertwining Culture and Faith

In many areas religion can be deeply woven into the culture of a country to the point that unwinding them is impossible!

In certain areas of the world this can mean that people who are not of the majority faith have a hard time feeling comfortable or accepted. It can draw a line between two faiths living in the same area. How is the US different?

Our future depends on people of different cultures being able to walk the line between religious discrimination and loving observance of old and honored tradition.

Confusing conversion with indoctrination
Confusing Conversion with Indoctrination

Another way religion can cause conflict is the idea that any one religion is superior to others. This is called triumphalist beliefs- in which the followers of a religion may believe that their religion is the only true faith and that ALL must be converted to that faith if they want to be saved and allowed into heaven….

What religion was particularly guilty of this throughout history?

Bad beliefs
“Bad Beliefs”

Sometimes religions simply have “bad” beliefs- these religions may have stemmed from outside influences or they may have been part of the beliefs of the founder of the faith. These “bad” beliefs are like a virus who makes the religion morally and spiritually sick.

An example of this is the caste system in India which stems from Hinduism, or the blame of Jews for Christ’s death within Christianity.

Twisted interpretation
Twisted Interpretation

Sometimes fanatics invent ideas the religion never taught and teach these ideas as if they were ancient and authentic. This type of religion is a perversion of a good faith.

Examples of this include support for racism, as well as the rise of extremism (radicalism) which claims that it is acceptable to kill non-believers in the name of their deity.


They may look like religions, they may act like religions BUT Cults are not religions.

Cults are dangerous because they take away a person’s ability to critically evaluate what is happening.

Here are some warning signs of cults to look out for!

When good religions go bad

  • Cuts off its members from contact with their families.

  • Engages in all-night sessions and sleep deprivation in order to teach its lessons

  • Threatens those who disagree with it.

  • Demands that you transfer all (or nearly all) of your money or assets to them.

  • Uses its members to go out begging or raising money all the time.

  • Hides its true identity in parts of its work

  • Doesn’t tolerate internal dissent

  • Funnels most of the money to leaders of the group, despite claiming to do charitable work

  • Keeps all finances secret

  • Engages in “love bombing”. Cults take lonely or confused people and surrounds them with members who don’t know them but say they love them This friendly group seduces these lonely people into joining them

  • Is constantly being investigated by the media or government organization