Persistent / resurgent religious privilege

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Persistent / resurgent religious privilege

#1  Postby Sgt Kelly » Nov 19, 2020 12:36 pm

In Belgium traditional religion (historically catholicism) is all but dead. Only 53% of Belgians describe themselves as Catholics, down from over 90% in the middle of the last century. The true number is actually much lower if you take into account that most people only say that because they were spoon fed the lie that they were raised with 'Christian values', which in their eyes makes them at least cultural Christians / Catholics. We know of course that there ain't nothing uniquely Christian about Christian values so describing yourself as a cultural Christian is meaningless. This is also reflected in the fact that less than 10% of Belgians attend church. A number which is likely to continue to fall precipitously as it is mostly made up of octogenarians. Many church buildings have already been repurposed, many more are just standing disused.

Notwithstanding these facts, the entire establishment of the Catholic church in this country, including all its material assets and human resources, are paid for and maintained out of the public purse. Priests receive a state salary and a state pension. All religious buildings are owned by the state (a holdover from when Napoleon confiscated them) but given in use to the Catholic church. The state can't do what they want with these buildings, even when they're not being used. The church has to agree to any repurposing.

On top of all this Flanders (60 - 70% of Belgium by population and GDP) has a Catholic school system which is subsidized by the state. I couldn't find any global figures during my lunch break but 70% of the cost of building maintenance being paid for by these subsidies gives a rough idea. Now these schools can't be compared to faith schools as they exist in some other countries. They're not aimed at turning out religious wingnuts. But they are, in my view, instrumental in perpetuating the idea that this country is culturally Catholic and implanting in people the notion that basic humanistic values are somehow Christian in origin.
This state of affairs and the complete and total indifference to it from the entire population has annoyed me to no end for years.

Imagine my joy to learn now that, as a result of the new initiatives to regulate Islamic mosques (in the aftermath of investigations into radicalization), we're going to have the privilege of paying for them and their Imams as well.

They may not be dominating every goddamn aspect of our life anymore, but the fight isn't over and the fact that there are more batshit crazy places shouldn't lead us to be complacent.
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Re: Persistent / resurgent religious privilege

#2  Postby aban57 » Nov 19, 2020 1:02 pm

Sgt Kelly wrote:In Belgium traditional religion (historically catholicism) is all but dead. Only 53% of Belgians describe themselves as Catholics, down from over 90% in the middle of the last century. The true number is actually much lower if you take into account that most people only say that because they were spoon fed the lie that they were raised with 'Christian values', which in their eyes makes them at least cultural Christians / Catholics.


Yeah I had several discussions with (older) people, and they can't tell the difference between a catholic and a "cultural catholic". Almost all of them are the latter, but they've been indocrinated into believing they're "the real deal".

It doesn't affect them in their daily life though.
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Re: Persistent / resurgent religious privilege

#3  Postby Challenger007 » Nov 30, 2020 2:25 pm

Well, let's be honest. Religion (please do not confuse it with faith, real faith in a higher power, God, etc.) is largely hypocritical. As a last resort, Catholicism is for sure. Since the Middle Ages, with the trade in indulgences. It is not surprising that in the 21st century, with free access to information, with freedom of communication and exchange of opinions, people begin to open their eyes and they remove from their lives that which does not bring any benefit.
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Re: Persistent / resurgent religious privilege

#4  Postby Cito di Pense » Nov 30, 2020 2:41 pm

Challenger007 wrote:please do not confuse it with faith, real faith in a higher power, God, etc


And how should I avoid confusing faith with blather?
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Persistent / resurgent religious privilege

#5  Postby Blackadder » Nov 30, 2020 10:53 pm

Challenger007 wrote:...in the 21st century, with free access to information, with freedom of communication and exchange of opinions, people begin to open their eyes and they remove from their lives that which does not bring any benefit.


Any perceived benefit would be more accurate There are still billions of people who, despite the 21st Century's advances in information technology, perceive some benefit from mumbling endless prayers to non-existent deities. This perceived benefit is one of the common reasons trotted out by apologists for why mumbling prayers is a Good Thing, even when the lack of evidence for their deities is embarrassingly obvious, even to them.
That credulity should be gross in proportion to the ignorance of the mind that it enslaves, is in strict consistency with the principle of human nature. - Percy Bysshe Shelley
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Re: Persistent / resurgent religious privilege

#6  Postby Hermit » Dec 01, 2020 12:24 am

Challenger007 wrote:It is not surprising that in the 21st century, with free access to information, with freedom of communication and exchange of opinions, people begin to open their eyes and they remove from their lives that which does not bring any benefit.

Indeed. Millions of people have had their eyes opened by Qanon, anti-vaccination campaigners, WTC truthers, televangelists, and so forth.
God is the mysterious veil under which we hide our ignorance of the cause. - Léo Errera


God created the universe
God just exists
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Re: Persistent / resurgent religious privilege

#7  Postby Spearthrower » Jan 10, 2021 7:09 am

Challenger007 wrote:Well, let's be honest. Religion (please do not confuse it with faith, real faith in a higher power, God, etc.) is largely hypocritical. As a last resort, Catholicism is for sure. Since the Middle Ages, with the trade in indulgences. It is not surprising that in the 21st century, with free access to information, with freedom of communication and exchange of opinions, people begin to open their eyes and they remove from their lives that which does not bring any benefit.



It brings the same benefits that faith in a 'higher power' does; belonging to a group, a narrative of centrality and self-worth, a greater purpose to the cosmos suggesting death is not the end of the ego.
I'm not an atheist; I just don't believe in gods :- that which I don't belong to isn't a group!
Religion: Mass Stockholm Syndrome

Learn Stuff. Stuff good. https://www.coursera.org/
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Re: Persistent / resurgent religious privilege

#8  Postby laklak » Jan 10, 2021 10:17 pm

Bring back indulgences!

There should be Indulgence Terminals next to ATMs. Put in you credit card, pick you sin(s), PRESTO, You're Forgiven!

I'll take two mortals and a pack of venals, please.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way. - Mark Twain
The sky is falling! The sky is falling! - Chicken Little
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Re: Persistent / resurgent religious privilege

#9  Postby Blackadder » Jan 11, 2021 11:14 pm

laklak wrote:Bring back indulgences!

There should be Indulgence Terminals next to ATMs. Put in you credit card, pick you sin(s), PRESTO, You're Forgiven!

I'll take two mortals and a pack of venals, please.


Did you know that ATM's in Vatican City offer Latin as one of the language options? Also if you were a criminal and you ever found/stole an ATM card in the Vatican, the most obvious PIN to try would be 2046 (look at the sequence on an ATM keypad).

On that last point, I once had the security code for the entry door to a local Catholic school, whose hall we used to hire for rehearsals for an adult choir. The code was 2046, and the caretaker even helpfully explained why it was so easy to remember. :roll:
That credulity should be gross in proportion to the ignorance of the mind that it enslaves, is in strict consistency with the principle of human nature. - Percy Bysshe Shelley
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