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No, I am not worried about the orange-haired crotch groper coming after me. I want to talk about how organized religion insists on inserting itself into everyone’s privates…er…private lives. It starts before birth and doesn’t end until after death. Religion is a life sentence. Religious leaders want to examine everything you do, filtering their views through their faith-colored glasses.

Starting in the uterus, when a human fetus is a tiny brainless worm, they insist that women don’t have the right to control what happens to that worm. A woman’s body is just a receptacle to them. Human rights, especially women’s rights, must take a back seat to religious doctrine.

And then, at birth, some males go through a “rite of passage” dictated by their parents’ religion. It has an innocent-sounding name…until you understand what it means: Circumcision. It makes me cross my legs just to think about it. If the baby could speak, I’m sure he would scream, “You’re gonna do WHAT to my…? Keep your #$%^& hands offa me!”

Fast forward to those final years. Some people, suffering from a terminal disease just want to end it, quietly and peacefully with an injection. The Catholic Church absolutely prohibits “death with dignity,” calling it “arranged suicide.” Suicide, is considered a sin in most churches. They want people to suffer because, ya know, it’s good for you. Now you know what Jesus went through, so relax and enjoy it.

Even after death, they don’t quit trying to run your life. Some churches forbid cremation, claiming that you are gonna need that body in your afterlife. What an awful thought! I hafta spend eternity in this tired, flabby old aching pile of meat? Can’t I trade it in on a new model? The Catholic Church was dead set against cremation until all the cemeteries started to fill up, so they decided it was okay. But the Eastern Orthodox sects are still against it, as are Conservative and Orthodox Jews and Muslims. Most protestant sects, Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses are okay with cremation.

I am religiously opposed to cremation. My religion is environmentalism, and I think it is a terrible waste of fossil fuels, and it releases a lot of toxic gases. In my case, the alcohol fumes could be very dangerous during the process. On the other hand, I suppose it wouldn’t take much to get my carcass to burn up once it got started.

Sorry, got off the track there.

These are just a few examples of how churches insist on controlling the lives of their members. They don’t even begin to show the dimensions of that control. People who are raised in a religious environment probably don’t think about it, or realize that they are being treated like a child. I am so fortunate that I grew up in a nonbelieving family.

Bert Bigelow is a trained engineer who pursued a career in software design. Now retired, he enjoys writing short essays on many subjects but mainly focuses on politics and religion and the intersection...