Thursday, September 14, 2006

Most distasteful?

Anonymous asks (via e-mail): What is it that you find distasteful about religion? Christianity in specifics.

There are quite a few things I find "distasteful" about religion. In an effort to spare my readers a tome, I'll state what I find most "distasteful", if it please you?

I have always been troubled by Christianity's focus on death. When I was in the fourth grade, I became conspiciously ill. I was feverish to the point of hallucination and my muscles started to seize and spasm. I think it goes without saying that I was miserable. My mother, being a worrisome sort, called a priest to my side to give me extreme unction (aka, the last rites). Consider that for a moment; a nine year old receiving absolution. Absolution for what? What could I have possibly done in my nine years on earth (to that point) that would merit a need for absolution? It occured to me, even at that age, that the Church did not have a vested interest in my life. They had a vested interest in my death. At a time when I felt the Church should be praying for me to live, I felt as if I had been written off. I realized that the goal was to get my soul to heaven... not make me a better or fuller person on earth. THAT is distasteful to me. If, as it is claimed, the primary motive of religion is to ease suffering and bolster up the people, then why don't they focus on THIS life? So, there you have it: I find it most disatasteful that Christianity focuses so much on the afterlife that they forget this life. I find it most distasteful that Christianity pre-supposes that a nine year old would have original sins. I find it distasteful that rather than fight for your life, they pray for your death.


erin said...

One of the best weddings I ever went to was a Jewish wedding because they didn't dwell on the 'til death do us part bit. To me, that's always seemed SO morbid at weddings...which is why I requested to have any mentions of death left out of my wedding ceremony. I get the whole eternal life blah blah, but what happened to living for the here and now?

Virginia aka Ginny said...

I couldn't agree more. I'll even go a step further to say that I think religion is dangerous to mankind because of the focus on the afterlife and not this life. We don't even know if there IS an afterlife for crying out loud.

erin said...

Okay, so here is my question for you to blog about. What are your thoughts on the Left Behind series? I'm pretty sure I can guess what your answer will be, but I want to hear you talk about them!:)