A large percentage of today's Christian Clergy, at least in the US, are simply pandering Ignorance. Their goal is to keep their congregations as ignorant as possible, to indoctrinate them into not thinking, not challenging and not questioning authority or dogma. If they can succeed in that, then they can con the congregations into believing the most absurd of things, and protect their positions of authority, wealth and power.
The first part certainly can be confirmed by going around to some churches and sitting in on a sermon for a few weeks. However, many of those pastors don't really have this wealth and power trip going on--at least, not consciously. Remember, if they were born into the belief, then they were brainwashed as well, and thus most of them actually believe some of the more radical doctrines.
As for the all-too-cliche evil priests(and they know who they are), their power trip is largely in their own minds; anybody who's even a little less religious than their church would give him the one finger salute if he demanded that they give him money and alterboys. I'll admit, though, that if we're talking a corrupt cabinet member of the Vatican, then your statement's rock solid.
Thats what I contend faith in gods is: wishful thinking. As it's a pretty fagile stance, any doubt is a dangerous thing. Like a house of cards held up by wishful thinking it is very vulnerable to being demolished.
Contention acknowledged. With all due respect, it seems to jump to generalizations a bit. Some Christians have no problems with doubting, take this example from this thread:
Not doubting to me, would be unbilical.
I am sure you can think of many instances in the bible, where man doubted God, and where man even gets angry at God. There are examples of people losing there faith as well.
I don't agree with everything said in the rest of the post per se, but this is one person (representing many, myself included) who feels that it is important to doubt in order to grow spiritually.
While faith is illogical by its very definition, a little dash of doubt doesn't necessarily send it crumbling to the ground.
Not trying to get at you for having a different opinion, by the way-- there certainly are some people who would avoid doubt as you described. Just bear in mind that not every religious person feels that doubt is demonic, and that the muscles of faith can often grow stronger with a little breakdown.
No, not talking about the Vatican but rather mostly about what is often called (even though it is a misnomer) the Conservative or Biblical Christian Movements.
I'm talking about almost EVERY Televangelist, almost all Charismatics, many Evangelicals and Pentecostals. It is almost every Christian school, many home schools, all of those who would describe themselves as Young Earth Creationists or Biblical Creationists, all those who have a bumper sticker that says "I'm not better, just forgiven" or "In case of rapture this vehicle will be unoccupied".
Okay, my admission was a little too narrow, but I'm doing this between classes when I should be re-reading my biopsyche notes before lecture :)
Yes, all of those certainly are not eligible(sp) for the defense I gave. I have a somewhat biased schema against Pentecostals, so I try to avoid using them as examples lest I use the term 'pendejos' as a synonym somewhere along the line. Whoops...