Blast from the past….
One of the funniest comedy teams I’ve ever heard is Cheech and Chong, who debuted around 1972 and are still funny 32 years later. Their comedy routines are almost entirely drug-related, and whether you know much about the drug culture or not, they’re a scream.
One such routine on one of their albums featured a panhandler who was trying to squeeze quarters out of passers-by. First he would claim he hadn’t eaten all day, then said he needed to buy his little girl a birthday present. He wasn’t having much luck.
Then he hit on another person, who hit right back. The second person said, “Have you heard the word of god today?”
“Oh,” he said. “That’s okay, partner. Forget it.”
But the religious freak wasn’t so easy to get rid of.
“God would like to hear from you,” he said.
“Fine,” said the panhandler, “I’ll write him a letter.”
“You know,” said the religious freak, “before I found the Lord, I was all messed up on drugs. Now that I’ve found the Lord, I’m all messed up on the Lord.”
Pretty funny stuff. Those were the days when certain segments of the “hippy” movement were “finding Jesus”, driving around in florescent Volkswagen vans with JESUS SAVES painted all over them. We called them “Jesus freaks”, and everyone had a good laugh.
But how funny was it, really? Is Jesus just another drug?
The interesting thing about religion is that it seems to permeate every civilization on earth, in one form or another. This has led many to conclude that man needs to find answers to the purpose of life, or some hope of existence after death. WCG taught us that man is “incomplete” without God, and until we fill that hole, we’ll never know peace.
For many people that seems to be true. Some people seem to have no identity without their church or religious affiliation. When you enroll in school or check into a hospital, one of the boxes on the admission form is “Religion”. It becomes an integral part of the package that bears your name.
But does man really need a god? Is there really a spiritual void inside each one of us? Or is it just something we’ve been conditioned to think we need?
Big questions, and I don’t know the complete answer. I can only answer for myself, and my truth is that I have no spiritual void whatsoever. I was never truly happy while practicing religion in any form, and have only found peace when I rejected religion in all its forms.
That is my truth — it may not be yours.
We’ve all heard stories (or known people) who were “transformed by the truth” — their lives were changed after they “found the Lord”. I know some people like that, and they are good, sincere people. Some of them are recovering alcoholics, another is a reformed bank robber. They are people whose lives were in total chaos, and religion offered them a structured existence and a ray of hope for the future. Religion works for them, and indeed, most of them can’t live without it.
But there are others, like me, who never felt a need for god or religion. We were taught from birth that we were supposed to be religious. Some of us obeyed, others rebelled, and we all suffered guilt. People like us, if allowed to grow up innocent of religious instruction, would be perfectly happy and productive without ever darkening the door of a religious service. Except for funerals and weddings (both of which could be conducted in a secular manner), we simply don’t need God, Allah, Jehovah, Sophia, Buddha, or any other deity in our lives. I would be just as content if I had never heard of any of them.
I’m no fan of Karl Marx — I hate communism in all its forms — but Marx did say one thing with which I agree: “Religion is the opiate of the masses”. Faith in a future life can keep the hordes in line, enable them to accept the unacceptable, endure the unendurable, and make them feel pretty good about doing it. Never mind that there is no proof of a heaven or an afterlife — faith fills in where facts leave off, and that works for many people.
It sure as hell doesn’t work for me.
If you were once messed up on drugs, alcohol, sex, crime, or just life in general — maybe Jesus is a pretty good substitute. If you need it, by all means, get that fix. If it helps you function, helps you focus, helps you sleep at night, helps you be kind to your neighbor — go for it.
But if you don’t need it, then why are you doing it? Do you really believe there’s an invisible man in the sky who loves you but will kill you if you disobey? And do you really believe there’s another invisible man doing everything in his power to make you disobey?
If that invisible man really exists, maybe he should give you better instructions, instead of several thousand different options, only one of which (if any) can be correct. Maybe he should offer a shred of evidence that you actually can live again after you die, rather than asking you to take it on “faith”…and send money. Let’s face it — for the last 2000 years he’s had a pretty spotty track record; none of the prophesies his followers made have ever come to pass, and those followers have done some pretty terrible things in his name.
Religion can be addictive. Not everyone is susceptible to it, but those who are can get downright vicious if their supply is interrupted — and some can be just as vicious if their supply is met. For the super-righteous, the more religion they snort, the worse they behave. And if a “holy man” gives the word, they’ll kill you if you don’t take a snort as well.
I totally believe in religious freedom. Everyone should be allowed to worship in any manner they see fit (as long as it doesn’t harm others) — and that includes the right not to worship. What I hate to see is people clinging to religion simply because they feel they are expected to, or because Mommy and Daddy did it, or because they think it will save their eternal lives. There is no evidence whatsoever that anyone has ever been “saved” by religion (or Allah or Jesus or any other god figure). But millions have been murdered by religion.
So…are you still messed up on Jesus?
If the answer is yes, then ask yourself this: