Friday, July 1, 2011

Hierarchies Masquerading as Religion

Segregation and discrimination against women? What's considered abusive in general society gets overlooked when the practices are part of a religion that's been created by and for the benefit of men.

Ritualistic slaughter that brings animals pain and suffering? Soon, what's considered abusive in general society may no longer be overlooked when the practices are part of a religion that's been created by and for humans.

The Dutch Parliament will vote this week on a bill that, if enacted, will effectively require even Jewish and Muslim butchers to stun animals — mechanically, electrically or with gas — before they are slaughtered. Currently, the regulations on slaughter, including stunning the animals before killing, are set aside when it comes to ritual slaughter by humans of certain religions, who are objecting.

When hierarchy conservators hide behind religion, they expect people who would normally object to their behavior to look the other way, to stand by in silence, and not challenge them.

Religions used to proclaim that women exist to obey men, and blacks exist to wait on whites, because the leaders of the religions considered men and whites to be naturally superior. What's the difference in proclaiming that animals are placed on this earth to serve humans? Why would any deity place millions of species on this planet to serve only one of them? Typical of a hierarchy, humans set up this species hierarchy with themselves on top. Religions with animals as deities treat animals better.

For centuries, humans who establish hierarchies have hidden behind hierarchical religions headed by deities who resemble those people on top who set up and benefit from the hierarchy.

Cheers to the Dutch Parliament - keep up the good work standing up for those on the bottom!