Religion is a great tool to be lousy to people and I have been accused as using it as a club.
Friend: “Your philosophy is — it’s not my problem.”
Luke: “I’m trying to care.”
Friend: “You’re too busy talking to God. You worship Luke.”
I wandered around the Israel festival Sunday for four hours, hot and thirsty like the Jews in the desert because there were no drinking fountains and I didn’t want to spend a dollar on a bottled water. Luckily, two friends came through and one bought me a lemonade and another bought me watermelon. In exchange, I gave them some of my Torah on racism.
Dennis Prager notes there’s a tension between loving God and loving people. If you really love God, it’s hard to love people, and if you truly love people, it’s hard to love God.
You can wear your religion lightly or heavily. You can use it as away to get close to people or to hold them at arm’s length.
When you belong to a tightly-knit group, it’s easy to be bigoted against outsiders. Religion can be a great excuse to hate people.
From my understanding of the surveys, religious people tend to treat each other better than average, but they don’t treat outsiders any better than average.
When you are empty and miserable inside, like I’ve felt most of my life, it’s easy to latch on to addictions to escape the pain. When you finally confront that you have a problem and you need to get help, you find that recovery demands two things — faith in God and growing intimacy with others. When I’m bonded to others, I tend to act more normal. When I’m isolated, I get increasingly weird and anti-social. When my faith in God is strong, I tend to behave better than when I feel free.
I notice that many religious people use it as a means of avoiding psycho-therapy and 12-step work.
I burn one little cross on a bloke’s lawn while on a bender and forever I’m branded a klansman? My other accomplishments count for zilch?
Joe Diamond: “It’s that old “I built the Autobahn, was kind to kids and animals, but all they talk about is my ordering the deaths of millions” paradox.”