It's getting old, people. I'm tired of hearing everyone gripe about "organized religion." What's so wrong with organization? I mean would you like to go to a disorganized hospital (and a church is supposed to be a hospital for the soul, even though I agree that many are a far cry) or have a disorganized government (maybe we already do)? Do you see where I am going with this? Organized or messy, let's at least be consistent...or perhaps we could start by being clear and staying away from hackneyed cliches such as this one.
Structure doesn't have to be bad--after all, whether you believe in God or not, whoever made this universe did it in a very orderly fashion (thus the "laws of science"). Certainly God can't be contained in a building, but would he scoff simply because the ones he created gathered together under one roof to worship him corporately? That sounds about as likely as someone condemning a group of friends who threw a party their honor. (I'm not talking about every party, but simply the idea of the party, i.e. not every church honors God, but many do)
You know what I have a problem with? Organized education. Organized entertainment. Organized media. When people get organized, they become powerful influences on the culture. Did you know that the very first media organization in the U.S. was the church? Sunday mornings were the only times people gathered together in one place, so they got their weekly news from the pulpit. Newspapers were started by religious people also. I wrote a research paper on this for Christopher Hitchens' class during journalism grad school--interesting to see the press has moved so far from its original heritage.
Did I defeat my own argument? No. I just qualified it. Organization in itself is not a bad thing. It all depends on what or who is being organized. Obviously organized crime is bad, but so is crime without rhyme or reason. Random acts of kindess are good, but organizations which help the needy are more efficient. Chaos and order each have their place, so let us not throw out the baby with the baptismal.