Refugees From Religion
By Don Chapin
From “Right-wing evangelicals are driving Americans to atheism using these 8 simple techniques” by Valerie Tarico, at
“Catholic and Evangelical conservatives have made a high stakes gamble that they can regain authoritarian control over their flocks and hold onto the next generation of believers (and tithers) by asserting orthodox dogmas, making Christian belief an all-or-nothing proposition. Their goal is a level of theological purity that will produce another Great Awakening based largely on the same dogmas as the last one. They hope to cleanse their membership of theological diversity and assert top-down control of conscience questions, replenishing their membership with anti-feminist, pro-natalist policies and proselytizing in the Southern hemisphere. But the more they resort to strict authoritarianism, insularity and strict interpretation of Iron Age texts, the more people are wounded in the name of God and the more people are outraged.”
Yes, it’s true that adamant religionists turned evangelical can turn people away from “searching.” That’s how I started, in reaction to my father’s mother who, being a Seventh Day evangelist, tried to “convert” me every time went I past “her seat” in our living room. I then joined the military as much to earn a living (coming from a very lower-class environment with few options…my father quit school after the 4th grade to be able to help my grandparents earn a living and my mother never finished high school) as to escape that environment.
In my reaction to my grandmother’s evangelical efforts, as soon as I was out on my own, my first inclination was to start my own project of “proving the Bible wrong.” However, I was barely started on that project when discoveries began to be announced of Old Testament cities having been found through archeological digs. Humph, maybe I was starting in the wrong direction.
I then began to start reading all I could get my hands on about what at that time might have been considered the paranormal: Ruth Montgomery, Alice Bailey, Ian Stevenson. H.P. Blavatsky, “Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain,” etc.
Along the way, the usual troupe of evangelists came to the door—Mormon, Seventh day Evangelical, whatever, typically in groups of two, one older, one younger. We would begin talking until the older one would realize that I was getting the younger one interested in non-approved topics and suddenly “we have to be getting along for our next appointment.” Getting too deep into topics that inspired curiosity… the bane of evangelists.
Today, there are many scholars finding many thousands of “errors” in the Bible and then The Urantia Book, whose Part IV, The Life And Teachings of Jesus has, to me, a better claim to be Christianities’ New Testament than the current King James version, AND a plethora of channeled information such as the books my late wife imparted (ref. buddha-consciousness.org), the advent of Kryon, channeled through Lee Carroll, Patricia Cota-Robles’ Era of Peace , etc.
Meanwhile, I have been drifting closer and closer to Gnosticism. Not the fragmented religion of today which, like Christianity and many other religions, has many different pockets of belief to the extent that Jesus, Mohammed or Buddha wouldn’t recognize today’s version of what they taught and initiated (I remember one professor estimated that there are 64,000 different Christian spin-offs), but the basic concept of gnosis close to that promulgated by the 13th century Church-slaughtered Cathars, the search for knowledge as a tool for spiritual enhancement, and that the Divine is to be discovered by internal search, and not simply by a savior who is outside of you.
Likewise, because of the greater visibility ‘on the other side,’ I rely more on channeled information than on secular sources… although misinformation can still occur from such sources, as well… reference the differences in situations provided to Dolores Cannon over the years. Individual belief systems on BOTH sides of the veil play a significant part in such differences, although I have observed through the years that channeled or deep hypnosis-provided information is GENERALLY more reliable and accurate.
Religion, on the other hand, is quite secular and heavily dependent on the beliefs and biases of the local minister who potentially has many personal issues of his/her own to work out and clear. Furthermore, there is no end of evidence that ministers/priests, etc., rarely clear themselves before ministering to their congregation, a feat that EVERY energy healer is also supposed to do. (But OF COURSE those of us at Light Path Resources have gone through such clearing!!! Just ask us. However, none of us, as far as I know, has kissed the Blarney stone. 🙂
Ergo, the general populace picks up on this and, consciously or not, backs away from involvement in religious organizations, witnessed by the steady decline in declared religious affiliations and toward individual self-empowerment, which is typically anathema to religion.
Ultimately, I predict the goal of the right-wing evangelical conservatives as mentioned in the opening paragraphs will fail disastrously… not by driving people toward atheism as Tarico suggests, but toward an inner-based spiritual philosophy, more along the lines of the Gnosticism of the Cathars or Buddhism.