You are property.
I have repeatedly argued that religion is inherently against human freedom. Now a Rabbi author seems to agree. The difference between him and I is that he is not troubled by that authoritarian trend. He writes here for Newsweek magazine on “doing life-threatening things for fun.” The Rabbi is basically arguing that people do not have a right to take risks. The reason is simple: you have no right to your own life.
This is the fundamental principle of the religious. Man is property but not his own property. Man is owned by god not by the self. The socialists argue that the state owns you. The religionists argues that the church owns you.
Rabbi Marc Gellman says that in response to the libertarian argument that individuals own themselves, “that there is no such thing as a purely self-regarding act.” Gellman gets to the point: “Religious people, like me, would argue that God owns your body and you re just sort of renting it for the duration of your life and you are thus no more entitled to risk your life than you are entitled to pound nail holes into the walls of rented apartment.”
Follow the logic carefully. Gellman is saying that since your body belongs to God you have no right to take risks. But this means you have no rights what so ever. None. Not a one. You are a piece of property not a self-owning being with rights. I own shoes. My shoes have no rights because they are my property.
And if you have no right to risk your body since you don’t own it then why would you have the right to think for yourself? Wouldn’t the mind also belong to Gellman’s magic man in the sky as well?
If you are property of God then your property can’t really be your property either. It also must belong to God who owns you. Property can’t own property. Property is property. Gellman has basically argued a premise that destroys rights in principle.
Of course God isn’t walking around asserting property rights here. He doesn’t show up in court to assert a claim on you as his property. But there are people who claim to be God’s representatives on earth. The Pope, for instances, says he is the Vicar of Christ. Religious people assert that when they speak they are promoting the will of God.
The premise that the fairy in heaven, which they represent, really owns you means that they are asserting a right to control your life. In principle they are making a blatant power grab. You say they really don’t want such control over others.
Consider the new laws against abortion. They are based on the idea that a woman has no right over her own body. Consider the drive for censorship. It asserts you have no right to consider ideas or images of which they do not approve.
They want to shackle your right to express ideas. They want to control with whom you sleep. They want to control who it is that you are allowed to love. They argue that there is no right for you to take risks as you are not the rightful owner of your life. God, and hence his representatives, make a superior claim on your existence.
At the core they are no different than the vicious Marxist and communists who said you belong to the collective. Any belief that refuses to acknowledge your status as a self-owner is inherently totalitarian.