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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.} ========================================================== %CORPORATE CHRISTIAN RELIGION CHURCH POWER SIN EVIL+971206 %ADDICT CODEPENDENT CONTROL DISCIPLINE APPEAR FAIL+971206 %ALIENATIVE SEXUAL RELATIONS OPEN HONEST DIALOGUE+971206 %COMMUNAL PERSONAL INTEGRITY BALANCE CORRUPT LEADER 971206 Christian churches have focused far more upon the individual sins of the powerless poor --- than upon to corporate sins of the powerful rich. When Jesus told the rich young ruler that to enter the Kingdom of Heaven he would have to sell all that he had, and go and give to the powerless poor --- he was talking about letting go of abusive power --- just as much as about letting go of the things which are the symbols of power and wealth. Powerful leaders in religious institutions are not prone to dramatize the alienation which they engender by focusing upon the individual sins of the powerless poor. They can best increase their power and reputation by manipulating the self-images and self-esteems of the powerless poor --- while concealing their own patterns of abuse of power. The integrity of their religious institutions is systematically undermined by their preoccupations with issues of power, control, appearances, and conformity. Corrupt religious leaders find it in their special interest to focus upon laws, rules, prescriptions and proscriptions selected to differentiate themselves from the powerless poor; rather than upon the self-righteous and alienative attitudes, assumptions, and rationalizations which lead to their own excommunications from the powerless poor. The systemic sins of the religiously powerful will not be dealt with openly and honestly so long as they are respected by the powerless poor --- who lack understanding of how power is being abused. The powerless poor need the benefits of open and honest descriptions of the abuse of power by the religiously powerful --- who are skilled in playing collusive games of mutual self-deception with each other and with the powerless poor. The powerless poor do not need additional prescriptions and proscriptions to be enforced by powerful people who are preoccupied with issues of control and appearances. They need liberation, reconciliation and healing; not disciplines, controls and authoritarian pronouncements. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================