"Losing their freedom, people become enslaved, whether to the latest fads, or to power, money, or even deviant forms of religion."
- Pope Francis
It was an odd statement by the Pope, aimed at the Paris attacks of last week. He noted at some point that a new culture had arrived in modern society that was gathering steam......a culture of rejection. The end-result of this culture? A violent death.....with innocents involved.
In some ways, he's correct.....you can't perform violent actions to this degree without having reached a maximum point of rejecting society or the Golden Rule. European cultures exist today.....after significant violence over the past five-hundred years in dealing with religion, thugs, and dictator-like leadership. What makes Europe attractive to non-Europeans as they cross borders and attempt to make their way here? It's at peace with itself and grown to full maturity....something that the bulk of nations in the world are still decades or centuries away from reaching.
Defining deviant forms of religion? Well....the Pope didn't go into too many details, for obvious reasons. If you sat in a room of free-thinkers....there would be an opinion to develop after an hour and three basic (at least in my mind) ingredients of a deviant religion.
First, when you have to use some form of physical means to enforce or carry the religion.....it's deviant religion.
Second, when someone stands in the midst of a group to note their superiority because of their religious ranking.....it's a deviant religion.
Third, when the acceptance of the religion hinges on some threat (perceived in a number of ways)....it's a deviant religion.
The plain truth is.....I suspect....we have a fair sum of society walking around today....unable to handle religion of any sort, and ought to limit themselves to gardening, cooking, and soccer.