Sample text for: Fear Faith Fact Fantasy
RELIGION IS A COMPETITIVE BUSINESS
Religion is a man-made, man- supported, man-believed, commercial enterprise. Like any business, it is in competition for your attention, support, arid money. Let no one forget that. Anything that is said or done which decreases the support of religion is a threat to the life of that business. We have only to observe the Catholic Church in its present crisis—the Church studiously ignored the evidence of sexual abuse of children by priests and ferociously fought to hide the evidence because it did not want to get bad publicity and lose business.
Competition between the major religions is keen but even that pales when compared with the competition between the sects of each religion. The Muslims seem to be doing a better job of convincing others, as Islam is growing faster than most of the other religions.
Those in public relations know that advertising, called evangelism and proselytism in religion, is more effective if they hand out free samples. The PR experts of religion know that the promises of everlasting happiness and the threat of an eternity of hell work well, especially among the superstitious and the uneducated. In some cases accepting a belief is the only way the recipient can obtain a benefit or get out of the ghetto.
Religion like any other business must convince the public, or at least its followers, that its brand is superior to all others. Otherwise, no customers. Religions are in cutthroat competition with one another and must spend an inordinate amount of time and effort coaxing money out of their constituents, much to the constituents’ discomfort and economic hardship.
All business groups, including religions, must raise money to survive. Churches want you to believe that a donation to their church is a gift to god and that you will be well rewarded after you die. One can only imagine what the collection plate would look like if god decided to reward people during their lifetime rather than waiting until after they die. Many churches request a ten percent tithe from their members. Many secretive cults require and expropriate all of their followers’ assets and belongings.
It is often necessary to destroy rivals in order to survive and prosper. Religions have learned to use hate to destroy the competition. Hatred of difference along with a fear of the unknown is a strong unifying emotion and frequently more lasting than love.
As a competitive business, religions and religious institutions should pay their way. The extensive and expensive holdings of religion should not escape taxation. The failure to pay taxes requires other taxpayers to shoulder a disproportionate share of the cost of government. The Constitution requires separation of church and state, but that does not mean that the church should not pay its fair share to support the state, which allows the church the freedom to exist.
Every sect is a moral check on its neighbor. Competition is as wholesome in religion as in commerce.Walter S. Landor