Sunday, July 02, 2017

Sunday Sermon: The Need to Belong

"Finding Friends" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

Subtitle: Moving from the In Group to the Out Group

Most organised religions have punishments or consequences for leaving their religion.  The position is not totally consistent, because for example religions don't normal prejudice relationships of a believer from their religion to another.

Example:  A Mormon can be friends with a Christian, but if a person raised in the Mormon faith wants to quit and become Secular or a Christian they will be shunned.

Shunning is described in Wikipedia here  and here are some

Religions that Shun
Jehovah's Witness
Church of Scientology

Islam - Apostasy
Islam represents a much more extreme case when an individual attempts to leave Islam.  Some countries have law that punish apostasy by death

I discussed this in more detail here, suffice to say that there are violent texts that can be used to justify violent actions against an Apostate, and having the death penalty for Apostasy from even 1 Islamic country enshrined in Law rather underscores the point.

The Need to Belong
In more primitive societies hundreds of years ago, and still in some typically immigrant communities in the West,  strict adherence to one's Religion is taken very seriously.

And fundamentally we all feel that we need to belong.

Even the most irate, unsociable, despot needs some sort of social circle if only to belittle and humiliate.  But for regular people the pull of ones family and friends can be strong.

And so consider what if the sanction from family and friends for leaving ones Religion, transforming you from In Group to Out Group Apostate are severe.

Well it's pretty obvious,  you think twice about leaving.   You calculate if indeed you can leave.

Who Should be Leaving
Well to explain,  I suggest, who should think about leaving?

If you are in any Religion and that Religion treats you as a second class citizen, then you should consider leaving.

To Marcus therefore, this includes to my certain knowledge, based on personal readings of the relevant Holy books

"Do Women Have a Voice?" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
- All women in Islam, Christianity
- Any black person who is a Mormon
- All women of the Mormon Church

"The Art of Coming Out" book by nakedpastor David Hayward
- All Gay people in Islam and some sects of Christianity
- Any man from the above faiths who can't stand the inequality prescribed in their own holy book

Come to think of it, a shorter list might be to see who should be encouraged to stay in their religion :-)

Support for the Leaving

Why would JW's leave

I can only say that in order to drastically reshape the world for the better of all,  Secular people need first focus on any disadvantaged Religious minority.

In the West, where we have equality enshrined into our Constitution or Law of the Land,  we simply have to make these communities aware of their rights, and their entitlements in our progressive societies.

"Struggling with your Faith" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
Further we should give support, be it emotional, financial, practical to those who have freely decided to leave their Religion  (as is their right  )  so that they can do so without penalty at least from our perspective.

After leaving that prejudiced religion we want you to belong to the more enlightened team.  The Secular team.   Period.

Naked Pastor

See Also: Leaving Faith
Islam's non Believers