Was religion an old form of government? In the dark ages the peasants could not read, and were read to from the bible?
Is religion today used to keep the poor happy so they do not rob the rich? Opinions welcome and and any other thoughts.
As found in biblical text, well established for historical certified almost 2000 years, having achieved Guinness book of world records for modern copies, it gives for this definition of religion Religion pure and undefiled with the God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation—to keep himself unspotted from the world.
A nonsensical definition and used as a guise has been common in some subcultures and Masonic lodge secret religion racist devil worship government to simply be: Religionsubculturesand/or worship of a God thingie. Example: illogical atheist gives sarcasm worship to the non-existent flying spaghetti monster sky God by making fun of Christians that don’t know Jesus is Lucifer the devil. Example: As the case of United States v. Ballard, 322 U.S. 78, 64 S. Ct. 882, 88 L. Ed. 1148 (1944), demonstrates, the Supreme Court must look to the sincerity of a person's beliefs to help decide if those beliefs constitute a religion that deserves constitutional protection.
A third view for a definition of religion can be seen by looking at what is in the commonly and publicly used Dewey Decimal Classification 200-299 section. Biblical text found placed in this section provides that establishment and enforcement of government and laws is what religion is about. Government and religion are synonymous in this sense. The government of “United States of America “ is a continuation of the “biblical meme" or to say, it is prophesy being fulfilled. As it can be observed that many biblical prophesies have come to furition, it can be observed that circumstances are conducive for more prophesies to further come to furition.
Social structures need ideologies for support.
Religion has traditionally been the ideology that supports the hierarchy.
The new secular religion of Neoliberalism supports the capitalist hierarchy.
Internationally, the religion of American Exceptionalism supports US imperialism and dominance over the countries of the Global South.
The forms and content of the religions change but their purpose remains the same: to protect the dominance of the privileged.
In ancient times, religions were theocracies: the government and the chosen religion were the same. In some cultures, i.e. Egypt and Japan, the pharaoh/emperor/king were gods on earth. However, even when the king was not a god, he was still appointed by god(s).
This doesn't mean that all was smooth sailing. When Akhnaten tried to change the polytheistic religion of Egypt to monotheism (to worship the sun disk, Aten), he was met with huge opposition. Priests of Aten might have been happy, but the priests of all the other gods were not. When Aten died, the country immediately went back to polytheism.
The Catholic Church did not allow the Bible to be translated into English or other languages, so even educated people who could not read Latin could not read and had to rely on the Church's interpretation. There were English translations before King James, but there were at least two issues with that: one is that the population was highly illiterate and two, James had the Bible deliberately tailored to fit his "needs," i.e. "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" was actually about poisoners. There is more to that story, but I won't go into it here, nor will I go into how the uneducated were educated in Bible lore, i.e. the Mystery/Cycle plays of the Middle Age and beyond.
In preliterate societies, religion and government might not have been one and the same, but I wouldn't bet on it. However, in literate societies, if they were not the same entity, they were very closely aligned.
Religion is and always has been used to control people. Marx said that religion was the opiate of the masses, and he was right. I have more to say, but I have already written a book here.
I think the answer to this question is obvious when you consider the history of religion, particularly the Christian religion and the Egyptian religions.
In the Ancient Egyptian religions the monarchs were also the gods of the religion.
In the formation of the Christian religion, there had not been much evolution. Emperor (Saint) Constantine ordered the construction of a sacred text at the Council of Nicea.
I don't know how it could be more obvious than that.
For many people, religion, with its emphasis on the afterlife, and people being rewarded then for good behavior in this life, functions as a way to get people to put up with being poor and oppressed by the rich in this life. So in that way, it does prevent revolution and the poor robbing the rich.
Only in part, original government was divine right monarchy even if it predates the term.
The issue with proclaiming yourself as king comes with the question, by what authority are you king?
40 thousand years later...
Millions of Christians hear mass in a language they don't speak: Latin and becomes a main issue for Martin Luther to protest, creating the protestant branch of Christianity and the Lutheran denomination.
A few hundred years later...
Millions of American Christianity cult members use Christianity as the backstop for their "Lost Cause" Movement. Creating a false resurgence of Christianity in the 20th and 21st Century.
This movement is anti democratic pro Christian dominionist in tone and intent.
Generally few believe any of the religious woo, most Christians believe in the "Lost Cause" promoting white supremacy and acts of insurrection and right wing terrorism.
Christianity doesn't exist except as a smoke screen for hate groups now.