Updated: Jul 16, 2019
Lately I've been pondering what sadly get's passed off as true religion. It has been said that there's enough religion in the world to make men hate each other, but not enough to make them love. Harry Emerson Fosdick wrote, "Nothing in human life, least of all religion, is ever right until it is beautiful." Saint James defined true religion as caring for the vulnerable and the defenseless. The Dalai Lama said, "Kindness is my religion." Karen Armstrong wrote, "Compassion is the key in Islam and Buddhism and Judaism and Christianity. They are profoundly similar."
We've heard a lot in the media lately about "fake news." Well, I'd like to use this post to expose what I believe to be fake religion. What follows are 16 Characteristics of Fake Religion.
1. Claiming to know God and demeaning people is fake religion.
2. Quoting scriptures to win an argument about God is fake religion.
3. Disparaging people of other faiths as a sign of devotion to yours is fake religion.
4. Casting judgment upon others while giving yourself a pass is fake religion.
5. Dividing the world up into “us” and “them” is fake religion.
6. Fostering fear of God is fake religion.
7. Telling people they are inherently bad is fake religion.
8. Repressing individuality and demanding conformity is fake religion.
9. Casting disapproval on those who question is fake religion.
10. Perpetuating a spiritual superiority class structure of “clergy” and “laity” is fake religion.
11. A performance-based system of earning God’s love and approval is fake religion.
12. Assigning maleness to God and esteeming men over women is fake religion.
13. Allowing differences of beliefs to prevent working alongside others to alleviate suffering in our world is fake religion.
14. Praying for divine intervention without taking direct action is fake religion.
15. Claiming a close relationship with God while perpetuating discord and hostility in human relationships is fake religion.
16. If it is not about love it's fake religion.