The power of religion can be destructive

 


To The Eagle:

I was a young teen in 1963 sprawled on a hillside meadow looking up at the clouds, when I saw Roy Rodgers up there - not a cloud vaguely shaped like him, but a photo-perfect image. To this day I can say with certainty that I saw him. Of course, his image was not in the sky. It was projected in my brain.

The Roman emperor Constantine, before the battle of Milvian Bridge in 312 AD, allegedly saw a ‘cross of light’ in the sky with the words “In hoc signo vinces” (In this sign conquer).

Constantine credited the Christian god for his victory in that battle, and being a pragmatic politician, apparently co-opted that invasive new religious sect by converting to Christianity in 313 AD. He then unwittingly sealed the fate of his empire by issuing the Edict of Milan, which officially mandated tolerance of the Christian’s religion. The camel had gotten its nose into the tent. Within 10 years, Christianity had become the official religion of the Roman Empire.

The adoption of Christianity hastened the collapse of the empire in 480 AD, marking the end of the 2000 year span of the Pax Romana. The Imperial Roman empire gradually mutated into the Holy Roman Catholic empire, which ushered in 900 years of economic, intellectual and cultural decline known as the “Dark Ages” of Western Europe.

Such is the destructive power of religion. Our American republic has yet lasted a mere 250 years. As in Constantine’s Rome, the toxic effects of religious dogma upon the secular State are becoming increasingly apparent. It’s my opinion that the radical Right wing religious supremacists waging today’s ‘holy war’ against our liberal democracy, will be scavenging its carcass before the end of this century. Praise the lord and burn all heretics!

JB Bouchard

Puget Island

 

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