Though the doctrine of indulgences (prayers, alms, fasts, or payment of small sums) dated from the early Church as a result of the Crusades in the 12th and 13th Centuries they became more important. The Crusaders far from Christian lands were at risk of dying without a priest to perform his last rites or a chance to confess and receive absolution. So the Church concluded that dying as a martyr was a good work that would earn those who died and indulgence for their good works. From doing good works, such as joining the Crusades, paying money to the Church became an option for those that could not do so.
By the 16th century the system was so widely abused by the some in the Church that it became one of the reason for the Protestant Reformation movement led by the Martin Luther. In his 95 Theses, Luther objected to the sale of indulgences and the abuses of the Church. Above all he said that only God could pardon sins and the only thing indulgences guaranteed was an increase in profit and greed of the Catholic Church. His movement led to the break-up of the Church in Europe and the beginnings the Protestant church.
Today, Progressives also use the system of indulgences for its followers. We see it with the faithful towing the Progressive dogma on TV, movies, newspapers, civil, business leaders and of course some politicians. The business leaders pay by donating their money for the cause, the civil leader by spouting and spreading the cause.
Newspapers fill their stories with Progressive talking points, and diminish, conceal or in some cases outright lie to promote the cause. TV and movie personalities lend their faces and time to promote whatever the latest cause of the Progressives. At the same time they attack those of opposing views. Politicians promise that if they are elected that they will bring the Progressive Eden to Earth, were the rich will be punished, there will be no poor, no one will be discriminated against, no war, no suffering. If only they could take over they will be able to dictate everything to everyone, not offend anyone and satisfy everyone unless, your are a non-believer or worse a Conservative or Tea Party member.
What is the penance that all these people are paying indulgences for? For all them, they are paying penance for the sin of being alive, successful, First World citizens, in many cases White and having inherited a civilization that has tamed hunger, disease and real poverty. A world which has given them individually Natural Rights, to liberty, to religion, to property to pursue their lives as they see fit. This, to Progressives, is a mortal sin. So they live here in purgatory, with some in their 30,000 sq ft. dungeons, driving or being driven in $200,000+ steel coffins and frying in aluminum tubes across the globe spewing noxious fumes, yes indulgences have to be paid for such suffering.
This is not the only Christian doctrine that the Progressive believe in. They also believe in the doctrine of Original Sin but with a twist, they are Progressive after all. To them some classes of people are born with the original sin of being Black, Hispanic, Women, LBGTQRFGHI… as such they must be treated differently and deferentially. In some cases all their misdeeds must be automatically forgiven, all laws of men must be applied differently to them, if at all.
These are innocents who by virtue of their genetically melanin proficient parlor are to be held both unaccountable and rewarded. To expect that their melanin deficient peers and they are equal is a sin that demands many indulgences. Those that come from our southern borders must be allowed to come and go as they please. The weaker stronger, equal sex must be allowed to have no personal responsibility for her actions, she can determine how she feels about things at a later date. For them Yes, means, “I’ll let you know later”, they can’t be expected to control their “vapors”. They must always feel like a victim, even if they are the one doing the victimizing. To the other class, we are not sure what they want yet, but they will be sure to get it.
Then you have another group that is religious in nature but since is not Christianity it can be defended from “slander”. That this group is not known for its treatment of women and the LBGTQRFGHI… groups is immaterial, unless you are a member of the LBGTQRFGHI… or a woman. You see defending this group gives you gravitas to attack Christianity. You are defender and believer of the rights of religion expression, now those Christian who want to not pay for birth control they must burn at the stake. There is also a little fear, you see this group is fanatical about its beliefs and any attempts to portray them and their religion in a negative light can bring a lifetime of looking behind your back and checking under your car for unknown explosive packages.
There is one aspect from this religion that the Progressives have adopted, that is the crime of apostasy. In this religion leaving the faith (apostasy) demands a death sentence. Now Progressives are not beheading (Saudi Arabia), hanging (most of the ME) or stoning (women) anyone, they just kill your career, strip you of your livelihood and ostracize you unless you repent and do your penance or pay your indulgence. Both are very tolerant of others, unless you are not of the faith then you either pay your jizya or suffer the consequences.
Progressives may deride religion but they sure know and act like one.