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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %RELIGIOUS CONFORMITY COMMUNITY REQUIRE UNIFORM+960303 %PERCEPTION EXPERIENCES EXPRESSIONS VISIONS IDEALS+960303 %VALUES DECEPTION DISHONESTY PRETENSE COLLUSION 960303 Often religious communities seek to define themselves in exclusive ways; e.g., by who must be excluded from the community to assure the purity of it. Membership may be limited to those people who have been "born again" in some particular way, with some particular vision, involving some particular transformation. People who have not been "born again" in the prescribed way do not belong and cannot belong, because of how the community has defined itself through exclusionary rules. When the essential prerequisites to belonging to a community have to do with uniformity of religious experiences, perceptions, expressions, visions, ideals and values it is inevitable that there will be pressures to conform---and seem to be like others in regards to religious experiences, perceptions, expressions, visions, ideals and values. What counts is appearances---not realities. This inevitably leads to deception, dishonesty, pretense, collusions, addiction and codependent support of them. Too often religious leaders promote human conflicts having to do with exclusive rules of membership within their religious communities. They promote conflict, not conflict resolution. They believe that to be "good" is to have taken the "right" side in a conflict and to have worked for that "righteous" side to win. They believe it is "evil" to work as peacemakers who seek to truly resolve conflicts between conflicting ideals, values and principles. They believe that such peacemaking and conflict resolution entails "evil compromises" which are contrary to the "Will of God". (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================