Jesus said the Old Testament law should be obeyed and that as hypocritical as the scribes and Pharisees were their teaching was accurate in Matthew 23.  Nobody mentions how the scribes, the Sadducees did not believe the dead could rise, and Jesus here is saying their teaching was fine!

The Jewish priesthood under Moses and Aaron supposedly had a divine mandate to get taxes off the people.  Leviticus 27:30/Numbers 18:25-28/Deuteronomy 14:22-24/ 2 Chronicles 31:5-6 lay out the tithing obligation. It was ten per cent but other taxes and the benefits of having a food supply from the sacrifice system meant the priests were quite well off.  They had no command to support the poor.  Jesus of course never complained about that.  His problem was how the Temple workers were stealing.  He notably did not take the money he threw around to the poor.

While Christians today say the tithe as in forced duty is cancelled, they say you are meant to give ten per cent out of generosity. Again this money can be spent on entirely religious pursuits and not given to the poor just as in days of old.

Jesus clearly opposed socialism that robs the rich to give to the poor. Expensive oil was wasted on him. His response to those who said that it should have been sold to the poor was that the poor are there and always will be and you can help them whenever you wish. Matthew 26:11 and Mark 14:7. There is nothing here about people needing to be forced to support the poor.

In Luke 12:13-15, Jesus was rude to a man who only wanted him to ask his brother to divide property left between both siblings. Jesus was not asked to be a judge but to speak for justice and he snapped that nobody made him anybody’s judge. Then he accused the man of envy.

Many argue that religion is not necessarily a problem in the world but absolutism is.

Make no mistake.  Some religions and faiths are absolutist so are these people arguing that they be defunded and forcably dismantled?  Some say that religious freedom has its limits.  They may say that pulling down some religious organisations is only dealing with a human social grouping construct that needs it.  They will say this does not entail forcing members to believe differently or join a new religion.  It only targets the structure.  Indeed if religion is just like a corporation then there is no inherent object to it.  It will be supposed that faith in Mormonism say should not be destroyed by fining the church organisation into oblivion.  It will be pointed out that Mormons on a desert island with no church engaging with them are still Mormons and this attack only deals with an outward thing not the faith itself.

Freedom from religion is a human right as much as freedom of religion is.  Freedom from religious structures is a part of that.  A Christian can think that Churches are unreliable with the gospel and demand freedom from their interference and remain a Christian.  Too often when people speak of freedom of religion they are really talking about their organised religious grouping.  This plays into the power dynamics.  Freedom of religious faith is one subject then.  Freedom of religion to control and form rule-based structures is a different topic.

Many will say that absolutism causes the problems associated with religion. The absolutist makes absolute rules that must never be disobeyed.  Critics of absolutism assumes it is about control.  But if you work in a busy bookkeeping office the rules will be horrible but they are not about controlling though they control.  They are about the end goal, quality accounting.

So the critics should simply drop the word absolutist and just say that some people make up rules to control.  It could be that a religion is just an excuse for control so don't start saying, "It is never religion that does it.   Only absolutism does."

Those persons have unwittingly used an atheist argument.  Atheists do not want religion to have power for they think it is implausible.  You only protest against religious absolutism if you think religion is invalid in the first place.

So why do religious absolutists make rules we may ask?  Because they see things in themselves that they do not like so their rules controlling others are about them not the other people.  For example, if a prophet has a sexual weakness for women, he will force them into burkas to hide their attractiveness from him. His controlling is violence in itself and easily erupts into more open violence. He hates being challenged.

A progressive religionist who does away with the traditional rules, ie no sex outside marriage, is still an absolutist.  He has made it a law that people with more traditional view need to loosen up.  It is stupid to argue that he is progressive for he has secret leanings to being a traditional religious person.  Yet to uphold the reasoning people would have about the burka would suggest that they do!

See what the "it is not religion but absolutism" brigade is doing?  They are trying to deny that religion is a problem by setting up a smokescreen based around their misuse of the word absolutism.

One might observe that absolutism is a problem in religion but anything human is prone to it. Politics is rife with examples of dangerous absolutism.  Religion does not have a monopoly on faith.
Take an absolutist atheist. He goes, "I know my unbelief in God is correct. I forbid you to build a Church near my house for I don't want to see it. It is an insult to the truth that there is no God." If he had any self-respect or self-confidence he would not carry on like that. The true atheist will be so confident that he is right that he will not care about the Church. He will understand that it takes time for people to absorb the truth and to deal with it. He will speak the truth and live it.  The community will learn from him by osmosis so he must not shut himself off.  His absolutism looks ridiculous.  It is in the long-term self-defeating.
If you want to be an absolutist or a person who says religion has unbreakable rules and get influence and a semblance of credibility you simply have to claim that you have supernatural knowledge that you are right. There is no other way. In other words, true absolutism is always religious thought not always overtly. Ask yourself who sounds the biggest fool:

PERSON A, Socialists should not be tolerated because republicanism/Islam/Christianity/any religion is undeniably right. I say this on my own authority.
Comment: Person A cannot go that far with their own belief or opinion. He cannot have absolute proof that he is right. He is really pretending that just because he feels something that proves it to be true!
PERSON B, Socialists should not be tolerated because  republicanism/Islam/Christianity/any religion is undeniably right. I say this on God's authority for he has revealed this to me and I know he is right.
Comment: Person B is not as ridiculous as Person A. If God exists then we have to admit the possibility that B really does know this.
Clearly B is the most dangerous of the two.
Many make the point that anything that tries to give people meaning in life and purpose can lead to absolutism especially when it is challenged. To tell a person they have one big purpose in life is about subtly trying to control them or make them feel controlled.  The antidote is to recognise that there is no big meaning and it is a mountain of little ones.  Atheists tend to get meaning in life from all the little things. They get meanings not meaning I should say.  Religionists seek that one big thing that one big God that is going to bring them meaning in life. In reality they are trying to avoid getting meaning in the normal little things and that is dangerous. We have proven that religion is intrinsically dangerous. When it is good it is still a disaster waiting to happen.

If there is a God who gives you all you have that implies that he has a say over how you use it.  That suggests control.  A happy prisoner is still a prisoner.  An unwary prisoner is still a prisoner and needs to be told.  Now if God does not give you all you have or is more like a computer so there is no giving gifts to you as such, then you are controlled by your thought that he has control over all you have.  An imaginary ruler means you are brainwashed into thinking you are ruled.  You act ruled.  You are ruled by your notion and by the persons who instilled it in you.  If you wrongly think the cliff is not there, your response rules you and draws you to your death when you step over it.  All this impacts on others for you are not an island.  We all force others unwittingly and we let ourselves by forced by others without realising.  So while you may say that you don't object to faith in God as long as believers force nothing of what they believe on you, they are forcing.  And they will force.

The notion that what you do or don't do is God's business means people will interfere in that basis for you are not an island and Christianity teaches that God uses no hands on earth but those of his people.  This is a concern if the people are not really authorised by a real God.

Christianity is incompatible with socialism for its Jesus never hung out with outcasts.  "Progressive" Christians lie that he did.  Jim Jones of Jonestown by the way was a "Progressive".  Nothing indicates that practicing tax collectors, sex workers, gays or witches were in his entourage.  Lepers were not even in it.  Lepers were the top outcasts of that day.  If socialism is a good thing, then Christianity is a threat.  Despite its lies, the real truth will come out.

Theologies no matter how sweet they seem are men pretending to be authorities before God.  Don't let them.  The Crown Prosecution Service in the United Kingdom 2022, declared, "There are some references in the Bible which are simply no longer appropriate in modern society and which would be deemed offensive if stated in public."  This was in the context of the larger debate, if preachers should be allowed to harm the public by crowing about these verses on the street.  The preacher at the centre of this, Dunn had been highlighting Genesis which says that God designed man and woman for lifelong marriage and that you cannot have other than male or female.  And a New Testament text condemning gay sexual activity.  I would add that most Progressive Christians lie that the Bible says nothing about committed LGBT sexual love and only condemns LGBT promiscuity and sex work.  That turns the hateful condemnations towards LGBT who have several sexual partners or who may be sex workers.  They comprise the most vulnerable.

Socialists see the wrongs in society as needing fixing instead of being slammed as being evil in some religious understanding of the word.  Evil implies something that targets the good that is there and twists it.  It calls for battle.  This is far from a mistake just being a mistake.  A mistake is a mistake and an evil implies aggressive forces.  Nobody really believes the Christian lie that evil never makes anything, that it never makes anything new.  It does and we know that and that is why we go along with it.  Stealing a million pounds makes a new life for you.  Evil is called a parasite, an aggressor.  Is it attacking good that is there?  Or is it attacking something that is just there?  Here is the difference.  Is evil targeting a painting because it is good or because it just happens to be there?

Religion may say that love and non-aggressive dissolve evil.  That is another lie.  If evil is aggressive it needs you to believe that.  It only gets any nefarious work done because it is not attacked.  Offering the murderer in your house tea will do nothing. 

Many pay religion money and let it have their schools and influence their children and use the excuse, "Rather than just leave this sometimes awful and sometimes evil religion, I want to stand for it changing from the inside."  There is no excuse for not being in a religion that does less harm.  And the religion and its tradition and history and place in the world will always be bigger than you.  And you sound arrogant like you are so great and smart that you will not be contaminated.  And if "changing from within" is your reason for being in it then remind yourself that when the Church collaborated with the Nazis that the German Catholics told themselves the same thing.  And it is a core Christian teaching that you cannot change others so you have to look at yourself.  AND FINALLY, IF YOU THINK YOU HELP CHANGE FROM WITHIN THAT IS A REASON FOR YOU NOT TO ENROL YOUR CHILDREN IN THE CHURCH AND INFLUENCE THEM AT IT'S SCHOOL.


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