Good vs Evil or GOD vs DEVIL

Religion has the ability to provide social stability, a sense of community, a moral code (rules for appropriate behavior), basic education, and activities that bring people together as a community. Religious organizations often keep people out of trouble by providing such activities as dancing, sports, pot luck meals, sewing bees, and sales). Religions usually have rules for behavior and attitude, with rewards for good behavior and a punishments for bad behavior. In some cases religious law is/was indistinguishable from government rule, though the religion and or its laws might change with the head of such a government.

A religion is a belief in a creator god or gods. In the case of gods, these may have been gods from the same pantheon (organization or group of gods) or rival gods. Some religions include evil adversaries called demons. Some beliefs hold demons to be rogue gods (gods who no longer have followers and have gone crazy); spirits from evil thought fragments, lost objects, resentful dead animals, or resentful dead people; or fallen angels.

Historically religions have added to and taken away from education and art. Some religions have been known to destroy the art, texts, histories, and structures of other religions. Whether this activity was sanctioned by a religion, the activity of a  rogue zealot, or a group of zealots in a particular case, would require research. Unfortunately the records of specific incidents themselves may have likely been destroyed or hidden. For an overview of information on this topic, search for “destruction of religious”. The recommendation drop down provides options for art, sites, images, and shrines. These options are only the popularly searched topics. If you simply run that search as-is, you might be shocked by the persecutors and the persecuted.

Also in the histories is the shocking behaviors of various religions, which… after having been persecuted as a young religion, persecute other religions in their turn after becoming a more powerful group. A search for religious persecution provides inadequate information, because religions are often limited to thinking of their own experience or the timeline of their own beliefs and that is what they publish.

One resource that attempts to put information on religions in order by “important” events and includes more than one religion is Wikipedia: Timeline of religion, though I notice that it does not include pantheons, such as the Greek, Norse, and Roman gods, relegating these to mythology and therefore misses a huge number of religious events of note. There may be other better resources out there… still looking.

Another abominable practice, slavery, was not repudiated by some dominant religions or world power governments until very recent history. Read these interesting historical documents for some shocking information about slavery and religious persecution: SLAVERY: ITS RELIGIOUS SANCTION, ITS POLITICAL DANGERS, AND THE BEST MODE OF DOING IT AWAY, “In His Name” by E. Christopher Reyes, and Christianity and the Roman Empire.

The Image:

I do not believe that the it was a mistake or accident that changing only two letters in GOOD and EVIL leaves you with to GOD and DEVIL. If you remember the difference between the two and seek to  do good and shun evil in all your activities and thoughts, you will be far closer to heaven than any organized religion can help you get. Organized religions “should” be a group of people (large or small), who have banded together to share in their beliefs, support each other, and help others (as the last two are “good” things to do).

I find, however, that organized religions tend to be far more concerned with keeping that church (organized religion) in existence and with blotting out competition (other churches), than in helping people reach favor with a deity (a heavenly ruler).

In Summation: A religion has the ability to do great good or great harm, either through individuals, in groups, or as an organization. Some of the greatest good deeds and some of the most heinous evil deeds have been done in the name of a god. A religious organization is only as good as its members.

In my personal opinion, any religion that condones, abets, or encourages acts of evil (including slavery, murder, and inciting panic that leads to murder) and fails to openly and privately repudiate such actions and attitudes, fails to meet the basic definition of religion. As such, they should be denounced by every government and refused the protections/recognition allotted to a religion.  (Especially when its members start embracing such evil notions.)