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NerdyKeith's avatar

What do you think of Frank Sinatra's take on organised religion?

Asked by NerdyKeith (5464points) April 7th, 2016

In 1963, Frank Sinatra was interviewed by Playboy and was asked a series of questions. Most of the questions were about his singing career. However, one of the questions was:
You haven’t found any answers for yourself in organized religion?

And this was his response:

“There are things about organised religion which I resent. Christ is revered as the Prince of Peace, but more blood has been shed in His name than any other figure in history. You show me one step forward in the name of religion and I’ll show you a hundred retrogressions. Remember, they were men of God who destroyed the educational treasures at Alexandria, who perpetrated the Inquisition in Spain, who burned the witches at Salem.

Over 25,000 organised religions flourish on this planet, but the followers of each think all the others are miserably misguided and probably evil as well. In India they worship white cows, monkeys and a dip in the Ganges. The Moslems accept slavery and prepare for Allah, who promises wine and re-virginate women. And witch doctors aren’t just in Africa. If you look in the L.A. papers of a Sunday morning, you’ll see the local variety advertising their wares like suits with two pairs of pants.”

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10 Answers

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Seems like a pretty good summation of the situation to me.

Pachy's avatar

Sinatra has been my singing hero for 55 years. I’ve read hundreds of books and articles about him—and knowing what I do about him I am pretty much sure that less than 2% of everything he said in interviews was—I’ll put this delicately—BS. He abhorred the press and delighted in screwing with them.

Nevertheless—and again based on what I know about him—I’m inclined to believe at least some of what he said to Playboy was part of that 2%. I don’t know what he, a born Catholic, really believed about religion but this quote sure sounds like something he could honestly have believed.

I hope so.

josie's avatar

Was Frank an authority on anything outside of the entertainment industry and the Mob?

Anyway, I would say Frank shares the views of quite a number of Westerners, for better or for worse.

rojo's avatar

Dude, seriously? 25k religions? I can name maybe 12 if I can use my toes as well.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@rojo From the dawn of humanity to know there would haven that large amount. You are thinking of contemporary practiced religions.p I assume.

cazzie's avatar

He was from a devout Catholic background. This view isn’t unusual for a recovering Catholic. Twisted priests and greed and lack of support for equal rights. Did you know he was given a prize for his work in the equal rights/ anti racism campaigns? He produced a film for young adults.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@cazzie Thats true, I can relate to that being a former Catholic.

I didn’t know he was involved with civil rights. Wow, what a great man he was. Absolute legend!

cookieman's avatar

Sounds about right.

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SimpatichnayaZhopa's avatar

I agree with him. If you count all the sects and cults and variations of each major religion, you surely have more than 25,000. On these forums, I see that Christians cannot even agree whether Jesus is God or not. One sect says other sects are evil and wrong. There are disagreements about the proper rite of baptism, etc. There are many variations of Christianity who claim only they will be in Heaven. There are also different sects in Islam, Buddhism, etc. If you count extinct religions and their sects, you have many more than 25,000. Christianity and Islam are the most barbarically violent religions. They have warred for centuries and will always do so, as long as here are members of both religions still living. Christianity had its Crusades, Inquisitions, witch hunts, book burnings, etc. and caused the Dark Ages.

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