Oh, That Touchy Conversation – Religion


Jay Gondolfo asked for my opinion, and by god, by golly and buy bonds, I intend to give it to him.

Okay, let’s not start off on the wrong foot here. Jay Gondolfo is not the sole inspiration behind this conversation that for some reason reminded me of the old Saturday Night Live Point Counterpoint bits with Jane Curtin and Dan Aykroyd. In fact, I fully expect someone to mutter under their breath at some point in the next few paragraphs, “Willie, you ignorant slut.” Maybe a few will shout it out loud.

Several pieces about religion have appeared recently at ChaosSection.com. Religion is a touchy subject anytime of the year, but especially so around any relevant holidays depending on a given calendar. Calendars themselves are a huge part of religions and their histories; despite that connection, we’ll leave a discussion of calendars for another time…assuming they all continue beyond December 21, if some of the theories regarding the Mayans are correct.

Let’s start with the fact that there’s nothing in Gandolfo’s article that I can or will disagree with, which makes this nothing at all like a point-counterpoint debate. If I want to pick nits with Mr. Gandolfo, he has invited me to take in more details, and I will at some point. But there were two distinct questions the author put forth, as well as some other comments about religion here at Chaos, which prompted my response.

What is religion?
There is a generic definition for the word ‘religion,’ and Gandolfo’s piece included some of that definition. But there’s no way any one person’s explanation of what that word means can tell the whole story.

There really is a lot of truth in the old adage, “I’m the only member of my church and my political party.” For years, that’s been my standard line when either topic, religion or politics, comes up in conversation.

The part about the political party is really no longer true, because I have found a lot of folks along the way who believe in real liberty and how a federal, state or local government should operate…or shouldn’t interfere. That is especially true in the last 12–15 years, which is why I continue to have hope we will one day get back to a more free and unencumbered society.

But religion—no, that’s a different story because it’s an utterly personal and intimate belief for all of us. I can’t answer the question “What is religion?” because I can’t read your mind and heart, and you can’t read mine. All I know is when large numbers amass in any of the gazillion different religions, it’s a bad thing.

Is religion a control system, or truth twisted by false information passed over time?
If these are my only two options, I’ll opt for control system. The entity I know as god is my conscience, the proverbial devil in one ear and angel in the other. Between those two are a brain, heart, eyes, ears, etc. Combined, they control me.

At the same time, Option B would not be an incorrect answer. But there should be an Option C, Option D, Option E and so on and so on through Option Z–infinite to choose from, and there is.

The religion called demographics is not often brought up, but it is indeed a religion, and bigger than Islam, Christianity, Judaism and every other sect combined. We all fall victim to its false information at one time or another; it can’t be helped.

But its twisting of numbers to pass false information over time can be prevented by not pigeon-holing people from any religion into an all or none column, not justifying one or the other because ninety-five per cent do good or five percent are bad. Statistics are an amazing part of daily life, take it from a sports nut. But they shouldn’t guide society on a game-to-game, day-to-day, region-to-region or, especially, person-to-person basis.

About the Author: A crotchety old man since his birth during Gen. Eisenhower’s first term as US president, Willie B. Lakey resides in the bee-yoo-tiful Texas Hill Country along with his wife, too many cats and his beloved beer fridge. Employed as an overworked and underpaid freelance sportswriter, his few moments of happiness usually come when communing with critters, tending his garden or sippin’ cold beer and enjoying tunes at Gruene Hall.

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