Religion has a sophisticated technique to control its followers. Create a doctrine and then create an institutional mechanism to control the doctrine.

“The Guardian” (in the UK) reported that the Vatican has offered a “blessing” for those not able to travel to Rio de Janeiro for the Catholic World Youth Day (CWYD).

Sergey Tyukanov PURGATORY

Sergey Tyukanov PURGATORY

First, let’s remind ourselves of the doctrine of purgatory. It is one of the doctrines least able to be  defended through the Bible. Yet it is an official doctrine of the Roman Catholic church (small “c” on purpose, not a typo). In overly simplistic terms purgatory is a hallway of purification one passes through on the way to heaven (after death).

Well, I for one am delighted that the Vatican will grant an indulgence (another doctrine, though with no Biblical support, that offers a leg-up to get through purgatory faster) for those who follow the CWYD. It applies only to “live” following – no delayed performances allowed. A Twitter account will allow people to get the Tweets they need to gain this indulgence, which is, as far as I can tell, free (Thank God, eh!).

Well, first religion creates a doctrine which gives the organized unit control over how well you do in this semi-torture place (all for your good, of course). Then it offers ways to ameliorate the process, resourced exclusively from the institution.

Now, those who wish to benefit from this must do it with honest intentions, as a spiritual exercise. That sounds really good, eh?

"Jesus, remember me..."

“Jesus, remember me…”

That’s funny. I believed that Jesus is the Way. I remember reading that Jesus said, “I can guarantee this truth: Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43 God’s Word) to one of the criminals crucified at Calvary with Jesus. Doesn’t sound like a halfway house to heaven to me.

Sorry that I got mixed up thinking Jesus was the Head of the Church (capital “C” on purpose, not a typo), which makes the word of the Saviour a higher authority than religion. Silly me, eh?

Just a recent example of religion acting, like, well, religion.

At least, that’s how it seems to me. I could be wrong, eh?