October 18: Day 110
STONE THREE CONTINUED
Question: I question every experience, all information, personal motives — mine and others — including the ideas presented by The Religious Recovery Program.
Instruction: Look for agendas.
It is perhaps only human nature to value one person over another, but when it comes to religious beliefs, it seems this is an atrocity. Still, it happens. The larger a religion becomes, the more money it takes to keep the organization running. This is seen in the corporate aspect of religion, because many religions are big business, but it is also seen on the local level. I have seen religious leaders court couples who appear to be young, rich, and successful while paying far less attention to those who are middle class, low class, and even considered to have no class. No one is perfect, and we make allowances because we understand this, but when it becomes obvious that the ones who financially support the work of the religious organization have greater influence than those who have a deeper spiritual commitment, things have become a unbalanced. We understand that great work can be accomplished by those who aren’t perfect, and that would include all of us, but the attempt at equality and fairness is important. We might not get it right every time, but we keep trying.
When we discover a religious organization with a hidden agenda, it’s important to think long and hard before giving them our allegiance. There are certain agendas that are appropriate for a religious organization to hold, such as treating our neighbor the way we want to be treated, creating a place of mutual respect and love for all Divine creatures, and being passionate about finding the spiritual path that leads to the greatest happiness and fulfillment. An organization that holds these goals as their agenda doesn’t have to hold them in secret. They can be bold about loving one another and wanting to work together for a common good. Still, many religious organizations’ agendas are not public, and it takes time to discover what is really going on behind the scenes. It’s one thing to whip up a crowd and get them emotionally excited about donating to the church, but it’s quite another thing to live a life dedicated to the healing of the planet and working towards ending abuse, biases, and prejudices.
Not only can religious organizations have hidden agendas, but individuals can, too. Take some time today to consider what agendas, hidden or open, your religious organization might have and also ones that you might have. Are those agendas positive, and do they support your spiritual path?
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