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What is the Religion 2.0 Position On the Pathologies and Abuses of Past and Current Religions?

Movements like Religion 2.0 and Evolution Spirituality that will help expand the global spiritual commons will need to confront and deal with the issues of the pathologies and abuses of religion within its knowledge base in a forthright and honest way. For many of the estimated 30% of the population that calls itself spiritual, but not religious, the very word religion creates an unpleasant and aversive reaction. One does not have to go back in history very far to see the pathologies, excesses and abuses of religion that are still occurring in many places today.

Doing everything possible to deal with and educate about the pathologies and abuses of past religions and the critical spiritual safeguards that are necessary to prevent them from occurring in our new religion again is a natural aspect of the global spiritual commons work. Some, but by no means all of the pathologies of institutionalized religion that the global spiritual commons will eventually have to address are:

fixation of beliefs;

establishment of oppressive ecclesiastical authority;

religious fundamentalism;

tendency to standardize and fossilize truth;

diversion of religion from the service of Ultimate Reality to the service of the church;

fund raising focus in place of a humble spiritual service focus;

creating discriminatory religious castes;

becoming an intolerant judge of orthodoxy;

creation of the aristocratic "chosen-people" attitude;

sexual and financial abuse of members,

undue psycho/spiritual influence or coercive influence over members negating or debilitating their ability to exercise spiritual free will;

fostering of false and exaggerated ideas of sacredness;

routinizing of religion;

accepting religious symbols and ceremonies in place of authentic direct spiritual experience of and with Ultimate Reality,

using blind or absolutist faith to override proper faith balance with rationality or scientific facts;

preventing or slowing members progressing through Fowler’s natural stages of spiritual growth;

tendency to form destructive cults and overly competitive divisions;

petrification of meditation/worship;

venerating the past while ignoring present demands;

failure to make up-to-date interpretations of religion’s messages;

entanglement with functions of secular institutions;

inclination of leaders to become administrators instead of ministers;

accumulation of vested interests toward increased secularization;

failing to hold the interest of adventurous youth and losing the hope renewing wisdom from ongoing personal direct spiritual experience with Ultimate Reality.

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