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Religion 101: "Religion Made Simple" Mba Mbulu, Instructor

Class # 4: Religion or Religious Ideology [Audio Version]

Read the following ESSAY. To the best of your ability, relate it to information provided in the first three lessons. Also, consider the following question(s).

(1) Why do you think the author writes about "organized" religion?

(2) Is the author suggesting that religion in its pure form could not have gone astray? Or, is the underlying thought that religion in its pure form could not have the group impact as organized religions have?

(3) Does it concern you that the author states that religion began going astray while it was still under the control of African People?

(4) Do you think religion would have become just as damaging under Black control as it has become under white control?

(5) What is the most important message in this article? If people believed in themselves and their abilities, would they be just as likely to turn their lives over to a "god" or "church"?

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Organized Religion: A Noble Intent Gone Astray

I have often written and stated that the major western religions of today were African in origin but are not African as they presently exist. Islam, Judaism and Christianity are mockeries of the lovely principles that were evolved and developed by Black People tens of thousands of years ago. But what probably started out as a noble intent to help people gain a profound understanding of themselves, life, and social harmony went astray and became a means by which people are manipulated by individuals who think their values and world views are more legitimate than those of others. This use of religion to manipulate the masses began in Africa and has since been taken, by eastern and western whites, to such extremes that religion is presently more a curse to humanity than a salvation.

It would be nice to say that religions went astray because of the greed and ignorance of white people, but that is not the case. When Black individuals in Africa began to spread the gospel that religion was something other than a personal relationship between an individual and a natural force that was beyond that individual's realm of understanding, the masses of the people were set on a road to disillusionment, abuse, self-abuse and powerlessness. For thousands of years people have continued along that route, faithfully marching deeper and deeper into an emotional and senseless stupor; deeper and deeper into an incredibly unbelievable attachment to an elitist ideology disguised as a "god".

As a result, people are taking on less and less responsibility for their destiny; waiting for a god to deliver them when they have the power to deliver themselves. How far can this flight from reality take people? I fear even to guess; it has already proven that people can be suckered well beyond any limits I would have imagined.

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Black People, hear this: Churches, mosques and temples, etc., are alright as social institutions, as community centers where people can congregate and communally work toward the well-being of all of Us. Believing that there is a supreme force can also be good because it can help Us access the inner strength needed to get Us through a difficult set of circumstances. But to believe that a religious building will make it possible for you to get closer to that supreme force, or to believe that that supreme force will act in your behalf is a waste of emotional energy and an insult to your intelligence.

Allow me to remind you of a few things: (1) As soon as you are conceived, you are as close to the supreme force as you can possibly be. From that time on, it is impossible for you to get farther away from it, and it is impossible for you to get closer to it. (2) The relationship between you and the supreme force is completely personal, one on one. That relationship cannot be enhanced by a building, a congregation, a religion or a pastor. You are as close to the supreme force as anyone else or anything else and you have as much power to relate to the supreme force as anyone or anything else. And (3) You have to take care of your own business. During difficult times, a supreme force is not going to come and rescue you. You have to take on the responsibility of eliminating difficult times yourself. As long as you wait for a supreme being, you will remain in a set of circumstances that will be destructive to you and your loved ones.

If you want to pray, fine. But pray to yourself; pray in order to bring out that inner strength that can take you through anybody's thick and thin. So get up off of your knees and don't be booting up your rear end at everybody on the block. When you do things like that, you make the supreme power ashamed of you, and you put your dignity and self respect in doubt.

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