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Every religion breaks down into the Golden Rule, do unto others as you
would have others do unto you.

Every religion also breaks down to nothing more than a tool, that rather than bringing us together, divides us so that we can be ruled.

Our "betters" underhandedly use both patriotism and religion to wave like red flags in our faces to get us to willingly do their bidding.

Both a flag and a religion are just symbols, hollow obstacles to actual experience. Religion is spirituality with hardening of the arteries. A flag is a pretty piece of material.

Both a flag and a religion are mere road signs meant to lead to a destination, actual experience. And embracing the symbol rather than reality
makes one a tool easily manipulated by his ignorance.

We're baptized without our knowledge or consent by those we're supposed to be able to trust, injected with the religion of abject submission
to a "higher" authority we can't see or touch,

That surrounds us invisibly, watching, judging, monitoring every moment
a police force inside of our heads so we won't ask too many questions.

Religion won't produce fulfillment or enlightenment. In fact, its purpose is actually the opposite, focusing us on mind-numbing ritual to stop our use of both free will and conscience. And the promise of a future in heaven
leads to the forfeit of our time in the present

And to abandoning the test of one's morals by canceling permission to discern right from wrong, substituting a rigid, pre-packaged agenda
that short circuits feelings of a moral job well done.

The focus on prepackaged good and evil used to be known as the Manichaean Heresy, which avoids the heavy lifting of moral responsibility
with a simplistic, black&white version of moral complexity.

Like all forms of P.R. and advertising, religion focuses on selling the sizzle while ignoring the steak, providing the pill of instant gratification/salvation
which relieves the pain of thought if you do what they say.

And to reinforce our intellectual cleansing, we get a booster shot when we're sent off to school. Sit down.  Shut up.  Stand with your hand over your heart. Pledge allegiance to a pretty piece of material

Which no longer stands for the American revolution, but submission to my country, right or wrong, to tolerance for dissidence, no freedom of thought.
How is that liberty and justice for all?

This is compatible with patriarchy, plutocracy and imperialism, since you abdicate your right to decide what is moral and accept what you're told to do as the only alternative which leads directly to "I was only following orders."

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Vi's works appear widely both in print and online. She conducts Poetry Workshops and gives readings in Central New York. Her latest chapbook is "Sine Qua Non Antiques (an Arcanum of History, Geography and Treachery).

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