Mankind needs religion. From our earliest days as thinking creatures, we have sought to understand the hows and whys of the world, and our place in it, and from these earliest days we have also acknowledged the existence of a power greater than ourselves. Every major religion on earth has a holy book, a deity or deities, prophets and saints, rituals, sacrifices, places of worship, and laws to help them understand this power, this Creator. In this day and age, a new, “godless” religion has sprung up, claiming that they have rid themselves of all old constrictions of religion. However, mankind was made for religion. It’s in our nature to worship something, to strive for ideals. Even Atheists have gods they worship! Let’s do a list! (Y’all know I love lists, right?)
Deity: Vague idea of “health.”
Holy Book: Diet books, calorie counting books.
Commandments/laws: Laws include a certain daily number of calories, the buying of only organic or sugar-free foods, the amount of necessary daily exercise, etc.
Ritual: The inputting of calories into food journal, daily long walks, and frequently weighing yourself and looking into mirrors to calculate your “health.”
Sacrifice: Eating only certain foods, usually nasty (like grape-nuts and sugar-free ice cream. Yuck.)
Prophets/saints: Health and fitness gurus, TV personalities, “healthy” celebrities.
Places of Worship: Gyms, Weight Watcher meetings, sports equipment stores.
Holy Book: Stock Market reports and paychecks.
Commandments/laws: Make money, no matter who or what comes in your way. After all, you’ll be dead soon anyway. Might as well live happily while you can.
Ritual: Work, make a show of your wealth (even if you don’t have any. Image is everything.)
Sacrifice: Loss of friends, social life. Who cares, you’re rich!
Prophets/saints: Millionaires, celebrities, and your wealthy neighbor down the street with the car.
Places of Worship: The workplace.
Holy Book: Magazines, romance novels.
Commandments/laws: You are the most important person, so make yourself happy.
Ritual: Frequent vacations, massages, buying beauty products.
Sacrifice: None. Sacrifice hurts.
Prophets/saints: Beautiful people, rich people, “happy” people.
Place of Worship: Massage parlors, resorts, concerts.
And, in contrast:
Deity: A triune God who loves perfectly.
Holy Book: The Bible.
Commandments/laws: Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.
Ritual: Mass/services, prayers.
Sacrifice: little mortification for the purification of one’s soul.
Prophets/saints: Um.. the prophets…and…saints…
Place of Worship: Churches.
So, you see, everyone worships SOME god, even those who claim loudly that they are free from such beliefs.
Love to all!