More Fun With Religion
So much of what we do is driven by fear. Religion is a response to the fear of death and what happens next. Of course, whatever you personally believe in is absolutely 100% true – who wants to get in a fight over faith – but you have to admit everyone else’s theories about God and the afterlife seem fairly silly, don’t they? I hear religious types scoffing about each other all the time: “Can you believe they think they’re going to be reincarnated and live again? How ridiculous.” “Can you believe they think they’ll get 40 virgins in heaven? How transparent.” “Can you believe they drink the blood of Christ and eat his flesh? How primitve.” Yes, people of faith do talk about each other, don’t you? As the local standup John Wetteland once noted: "Your magic story is the correct one. Everyone else is just nuts."
In fact religious types feel so strongly about their faith, that they are often willing to inflict a lot of pain on people who aren’t quite as righteous as they are. Take this case of the man in Afghanistan who secretly became a Christian in a country that believes in Islam. His execution may yet be averted but what a nasty spectacle from religion. Of course, other religions use that to reinforce the themes that they are being persecuted for their faith, and to point out how morally superior their faith is to others. Meanwhile, their people acted the same way in different parts of history. The Inquisition was just as ugly.
The odd thing about religions is that they’re designed to deal with our fears, and yet they are so frightening. I find the spectacle of a man getting beheaded for becoming a Christian to be scary. I also find the fact that our President believes with all his heart in Armageddon to be really frightening, too. Why? Because he could make it happen. What if this Higher Father he talks to tells him to launch an all-out nuclear strike as predicted in the Bible? Okay, it isn’t spelled out, but prophesies use vague language. The Bible doesn’t spell out cloning either. This is why I’m comforted by Bush when he helps the mega-rich, and ignores the poor. That gives me hope that he’s not a true Christian and might ignore the Armageddon bit, too. Frankly, I’d rather have a Dalai Lama-type in charge. For one thing, they wouldn’t run up the national debt so high because at least they believe they’d have to come back and pay the damn thing off.