I was taking a break from work earlier today (yeah, I'm behind on a project so I'm working over the weekend), and I started looking around the interwebs for a documentary to watch while I code (it's an ADD thing - you wouldn't understand... ;) ). I came across a small posting on a site that had the following synopsis of a religious documentary:
The documentary lifts the veil on the seemingly benign ___________________ religion to expose a profit-driven, isolationist culture characterized by fear, totalitarian corporate leadership, intellectual & spiritual intimidation, suspension of critical thinking, failed prophecies, doctrinal inconsistency and improper handling of physical and sexual abuse allegations within the church.
Now, here's the social/psychological test....
When you finished reading it, what was the first religion that you thought went into that blank?
I think this is actually a somewhat fascinating question, on a few different levels. I believe that the initial religion that comes to mind - without thinking - would probably be the religion the reader left when she became an atheist. Then, after a bit more thinking (we're talking probably less than a second or two in real time), I believe the reader would pick one of the three "biggies".
Now, I don't mean the regular "biggie" religions. In this instance I am talking about the three (more or less - but mainly more) mainstream religions that are repeatedly in the (inter)national news for one or more of these scandals and atrocities. They are commonly described with many - if not all - of the same traits listed in that quote.
As for me, my personal list of these three "bad bad monkey" religions is:
Of course there are a multitude of other religions that fall within the same category as these three; however all other religions are in the minor leagues compared to these three all-stars. The complete immersion and and perverted pride of these three is horrifying. They relish their greed, perversion, megalomania, ruthlessness, and so on. They have not one morsel of remorse for the reign of pain and misery that they have foisted upon their adherents - and these are the selfsame people that these asshole religions are supposed to comfort and protect!
OK, let's move on (I'm putting my soapbox away, for now).
If you chose one of the three above, guess what? You're wrong.
We could go on like this for awhile longer, I believe, before you finally guess the correct religion to fill in that blank.
Because I don't want to make it TOO easy for you to cheat, I'm not putting the correct religion here; instead I'm giving you a link to the site from where I got this quote. Oh, and to keep you from cheating by hovering over the link to see what the article name is, I obfuscated it with tinyurl.com. :)
Demasiado poquito, demasiado tarde
Oh, you didn't blow anything! It's just a fun topic to discuss, and I wanted to explain it in case what I was talking about wasn't clear (it happens - and all to often for me ;) ).
Amish is actually a good guess. I hate to admit it because I personally love the plain people, but Amish can be very damaging, as I recently learned. I happened to come across this book about a woman who escaped from Amish-ism, and she makes it sound as damaging as any cult.
You know, after giving this a bit more thought, I realized that the description of the religion at the center of this discussion is not unlike those silly horoscopes that appear in the newspaper every day. Here's what I mean.
We all know that those horoscopes are specifically written to sound like EVERYONE, as they are successful because they use a form of cold reading that makes them common to pretty much anyone.
This religious description is somewhat like that - but, at least in part, there is a different reason why this is, when compared to the techniques used by astronomy. In the case of the religious quote, the reason it sounds like all religions is that, sadly, almost all religions are guilty of all of the vile practices and atrocities in that blurb.
Interesting. Disappointing and angering as well, but still interesting.
Of course, it is interesting in the way described by the (widely purported, but not proven) Chinese curse, "may you live in interesting times."
In your third paragraph, change astronomy to astrology. Remember that astronomy is the science, astrology, the pseudoscience.
ARRRRGH!! I KNOW that, and in fact it is one of my pet peeves! And now I have no one to blame but myself. And maybe my hands. Yeah, that's it.
It's past my edit time (that sounded like bed time in my head, and the TV announcer saying, "It's 11PM - do you know where your children are?"), so I can't change it, and I don't want to nuke and re-post because it will mess up the tree structure of the thread.
BTW, my single, biggest, FSM-keep-me-from-killing-them pet peeve is the mix-up of you're and your. I SWEAR that it is so prevalent now that it is going to eventually be accepted as an "alternative" way to say it (or something like that).
I know that other homonyms screw up the same crowd as well, but they aren't used nearly as much. However, they definitely are just as irritating
It's and its::: IT'S NOT THAT HARD PEOPLE!
I first thought of the Hare Krishnas.
Ooh! Good one!