Monday, August 6, 2007

Deep Down, You Already Know That Your Religion is False


Gentle reader,

When push comes to shove, there aren't many religious people who truly believe in their religion. The litmus test is how your feel about death itself. Assuming you are a religious person, allow me to ask you a few questions:

Firstly, how do you feel about your own death? Are you afraid of dying or are you looking forward to it? Does death seem like a wonderful journey? Or are you scared shitless?

How about any friends and family that you currently have that are dying? Are you happy for them? Do you think of that person lying at home or in a hospital bed, and smile to yourself? Or are you filled with a sense of dread and impending loss?

If you are sick, are you currently going to a doctor to get treatment? Or are you hoping to die as quickly as possible?

If you are religious, you should be happy to be getting sick, and happy for any of your friends
and family that are currently dying. It is God's plan. They will soon be nearer to "paradise".

Are you happy about death? If not, ask yourself, why not?

Please take a few minutes to think about this. It's serious stuff.

...

If you are in fact not looking forward to taking a dirt nap, could it be that deep down, you realize that you aren't really going to "heaven"? You realize that your religion won't really save you from death.

You are in good company. When Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago had cancer some years ago he went to the hospital for some (sadly unsuccessful) treatment. Was the Cardinal trying to give God a little bit of a hand with his master plan? "Oh, God must really want me to live longer, but just doesn't have the time to cure my cancer. Poor old overscheduled God."

Or perhaps the Cardinal was just terrified of dying - just like most of the rest of us.
A religious person going to a doctor - that tells me that their faith isn't quite as rock solid as they might have hoped.

One more question: Have you ever been to a funeral? If so, was it a happy or sad affair?
If it was a religious funeral, shouldn't it be a happy occasion - a time for rejoicing?
Funerals that I have attended have been sad. Naturally, we all know, deep down, that the person has died. They aren't coming back, and we aren't ever going to see them again as we remembered them.

In our hearts, if we are honest, I think almost all of us know the truth.


Time for today's quote:

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."
--Aldous Huxley


Until the next time, gentle reader, I remain,

Your friend,

Buford Twain

3 comments:

RightOnPeachtree said...

If I'm moving from Georgia to California, I may know that I'll enjoy California when I get there. It's beautiful there, I'll make more money, and I'll be able to buy anything I want. However, it doesn't mean that I'm looking forward to leaving behind my home and my friends and my family in Georgia (never to see some again). And it doesn't mean that I'm not dreading the journey itself. I don't know exactly how to get there. I've never made that particular journey before. That doesn't mean that I'm not looking forward to living in California, though.

Buford Twain's Profile said...

Interesting analogy. But generally if someone is moving to a "better place" you are happy for them, aren't you? That doesn't seem to be the case when people are dying... in my experience everyone seems to get very upset and does whatever they can to prevent the person from dying. Hence, my wondering whether people realize at that point that maybe the whole heaven thing is just a story after all. They step out of the illusion for a short period. Then later on, they forget and go back to their religion as if nothing happened.

RightOnPeachtree said...

"But generally if someone is moving to a "better place" you are happy for them"

You're still going to miss them, Buford (for at least a while...even if you are a believer). Religious folks don't claim to know everything about heaven, so they don't know what the circumstances will be once they get there. Will they know their loved ones in heaven? They hope so, but they don't know for certain what it will be like. Even if they believe they'll see them again, they can still be mournful over the loss of the carefully cultivated relationships they had on earth.

And why wouldn't people be upset at a funeral? Imagine if your child was moving to a remote village in a currently unreachable location. You could still know that he was alive and okay, but you'd miss him. You'd be sad and grieve over the loss of that relationship and the loss of your current circumstances.

Similarly, though, I think grieving is not WORSE than it is because believers do feel they'll see their loved ones again (or that they are still with them here, in a way). And I'm not talking about the screaming and self-flagellation that goes on in some Muslim countries. I'm talking about the more dignified (IMO) funerals in the US where there is a sadness, but there is also a hope for what awaits us all and a celebration of the impact the deceased had on those around him.

I understand your points, but you have a vastly different understanding of faith and God (or god, in your case) than I do. The view I offer is the one I have always seen and have lived. It sounds like you have had a very different experience, though.