What Is Religion For?
Dr. Michael Hurd in his Daily Dose of Reason quotes actress Kathy Griffin at the recent Emmy Awards:
"A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus."Dr. Hurd then comments:
People are frightened by much more than Griffin's seeming snideness about Jesus. I think they're much more terrified at the possibility that she's right: That people are the authors of their own destiny, for better or worse. Let's be honest. Wasn't it this idea that religion was designed to extinguish?My answer to Dr. Hurd's question is: that is exactly what religion was designed for.
Observe how cheaters, drunks, liars and crooks of every stripe are drawn to religion, Christianity in particular. Of course, those are the obvious ones. The less obvious ones are those who just don't try too hard to pursue their values. They seek out Christianity for the moral anesthesia it provides. Numb to the full reality of their abnegation of self, like a stuporous drunk they stumble through life in mediocrity until they die.
They raise their arms to praise Jesus. Indeed.
On one occasion many years ago I was dragged to a fundamentalist Christian service. What a motley crew they were who sold their souls to the two-bit preacher. Now I know why the church and everyone in it looked so cheap. Afraid of the responsibility of living, they eagerly sold their souls for chump change to the first con artist who came along who told them that everything really would be okay.