Atheists, existentialists and assorted other disbelievers want to take God out of society. Okay, we understand that. But now we have sundry sociologists and psychologists who propose we take God out of religion as well.
Seems as if they like what organized religion can do for us, if only that primitive god thing could be left out of the recipe. Say like the pits to a cherry pie. As I understand it, these critics approve of the communitarianism of organized religions in which there are services, like the Mass, where everyone enters as equals, sharing in the same uplifting experience, walking out a better member of society.
Get it? Religions are good when they enhance our social consciousness. Help us better relate to our fellow citizens. Perhaps even benefit from that “opiate” with which Marx indicted religion. That’s their premise. And as they used to say about Vaudeville audiences: “If they buy the premise, they’ll buy the bit!” Without a doubt, the critics’ premise here does have some logic to it.
But now here’s the thing. Logic by itself is, well, it’s simply insisting 2+2 = 4. It neither asks nor answers the Why question. Similarly, religion without God is like that pie without the cherries because it had no pits. Without a God, there’s no really good reason why we’re doing what we’re doing here.
Religion has once more loomed its tenacious head in our current election. Every candidate wants to claim religion’s benefits; but, please, without its complications. Unlike most Western democracies, ours still takes its religions seriously. But then comes that Why question. Why is my faith more than Sunday photo-ops? Why is there something to this more than good citizenship? Frankly, why is any religion of any consequence if there is no God to it?
The questions beg the question.
Cherry pies and religions are nothing if they are somehow without their very origins. Logical, right? Notice, though, how logic again stumbles. Because whenever a candidate suggests there is a God to his religion, watch how many religious citizens suddenly take exception.
Pity the poor candidates. When they say “God bless America,” don’t we understand by now they don’t really mean for us to take them literally…? Or seriously…?
Filed under: Uncategorized