Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Accountability and Authority

As long as religions use fear as a motivator, so too will others in authority. What can possible cause more fear than the belief that another person, priest, prophet, pastor has the power to affect your happiness for all of eternity? It is bad enough that might on earth is often the arbiter of what is considered right; it is so much more damaging when we are taught that there are those on earth with the power to influence the "gods" and all eternity.

When we grant authority over our eternal destinies to others, we become children with no authority over ourselves. Why would anyone want this to be a permanent position in their own lives? Isn't it enough that, as true children, we are subject to the whims of those who are stronger than are we?

As a pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic child, I was taught that I was responsible for my own actions at the age of eight. This responsibility gave me no authority, however. All authority over me and my parents was held by the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Only they had the right to dictate our behaviors and prescribe restitution and retribution. My intensely devout Roman Catholic parents followed the lead of their church, as did my older brother and sister.

It is indescribable how horrible it felt to know that I was incapable of saving myself from this tyranny, as the teaching of the church cursed all who came under its power with an eternal mark on the psyche (soul?). "Once a Catholic, always a Catholic" was the mantra of all associated with their teachings.

Early on, I don't remember the church teaching that they were a Christian church, only referring to us and themselves as Catholic, as if this included, and was the exclusive body of Jesus on earth. All who were not Roman Catholic, according to my early education, were not destined for eternal salvation and peace. Only the laying on of priestly hands in the sacraments ensured an eternity with "God" and Jesus. Only the priests had the power to remove sins, even those that the priests committed against us.

The Roman church had absolute authority, not only over our peace on earth, but also over our eternities. Unfortunately, they granted themselves immunity from any responsibility for their own actions, absolving each other as a matter of course. For this reason, I have defected from the city/state/church/religion of the Vatican and Rome, though still maintaining my inclusion in the body of Jesus on this earth.

I have studied the beliefs of many religions, all of which seem to operate on fear of eternal exclusion from a special group of those who believe themselves to be the arbiters of what is right for all on earth and in eternity. Is there any religion on earth that doesn't profess to have the power to damn us to an eternity of pain? Is there any religion on earth that doesn't put human and other physical faces on the immense, eternal energy that encompasses and embodies all in our vast universe, thus limiting the limitless manifest experiences of The Sacred? Is there any religion on earth that actually seeks to create heavenly harmony on earth, as well as in eternity?

If I am to be held accountable for my actions, I must have authority over myself. I may not always be able to make right what I have made wrong on this earth, and nobody on earth has the power to simply make the consequences of my actions simply disappear. It is my responsibility to make my own amends, where possible. This is a burden I am willing to bear, trusting that in the fullness of eternity, the balance of peaceful harmony will prevail, when the universe is ready for the immensity of The Sacred Spirit.

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