"You don't convert people by yelling louder." This mantra from the Gospel According to Peanuts, speaks to the problem in our governments and our churches. Instead of sharing ideas and letting the audience decide for themselves what to do and believe, religious organizations and political parties (which are essentially the same animal) use politics to manipulate emotions, yelling louder until they use the bang of violence to silence dissent. Politics is essentially competitive, while religions and nations should be at least internally cooperative, a sharing of ideas and talents for mutual good. Politics is external, while religion should be internal. Politics is the forcing of ideas and wills upon others. Religion should be a personal quest for qualitative personal improvement, compassion, and self-knowledge leading to self-control. Practically all religions started this way, until they incorporated. Heavenly Father and Jesus don't have need of politics to accomplish his goals. He respects free will so much that he doesn't interfere with the evil it can generate. He doesn't yell, but speaks softly in the darkest silence of your life to lead you back to the light. He gave us commandments by which we could improve and to challenge our free will. He doesn't send angels to make sure we don't break them or fine us when we do, he leaves it to us to experience the consequences that we create. He lets us learn, he doesn't brainwash us.
True religious belief opens you up to the world and its experiences as a personal spiritual exploration of self and life. It gives signposts and guidance, and, I believe, occasional contradictions to test our free will. It isn't simplistic. Its is faith not dogma. Dogma is the creation of politics. The best politician is Lucifer. He wants to strip away our free will and impose his tyranny, and many follow in his footsteps. Dogma is created for external control. Religion relies on self-control, the only control that truly matters. People like dogma and unquestioning obedience because then they don't have to expend the energy to think and act for themselves. Most importantly, they don't have to be responsible for controlling themselves. Self-control of free will is the only legitimate control and is the sign of an adult. Finding the balance between free will and self-control, as Aristotle knew, is the chief purpose of life and its greatest wisdom. The Golden Mean and the Golden Rule both apply.