What is wrong with religion?
Before telling you the answer, I have to let you know why I am writing this blog.
I was at a party and at my table was a true Christian believer. Somehow, he raised the question about the anti-Christ and the danger we face in imminent times.
I told him that there are indeed dangers looming over our heads (overpopulation, pollution, nuclear, chemical or biological weapons… you know what I am talking about, right?) but no anti-Christ since no other religion talk about that.
He flatly denied it saying that all others are wrong.
And here I did a huge mistake, I thought that we may have a decent discussion since the guy was supposed to be smart (good scholarship).
I told him that the other religions believing in the same God (Judaism and Islam) do not see the end of the world the same way.
He said: “They do not worship our God.”
“What?” but any argument failed. I asked him to open his cell and scroll the net looking for Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, same God but different messiahs.
He refused, he knew well that what I said is wrong, end of argument.
So, I said “OK let’s talk about God your way. God is perfect and so is the Bible, God’s words transmitted to us through the voice of the prophets.”
He agreed on that, it was a new start.
I wanted to stay simple, no sophistications. “OK. So, if the Bible is perfect why are so many interpretations? We have Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, Anglicans, Reformists, and other sects, the list is quite long, and they have different interpretations about crucial statements in the Bible.”
He hated my statement, and I sensed some aggressiveness when he said: “I am a Catholic and I know that my priest knows very well what he is preaching us, I do not know about the others.”
“They are wrong?” I asked.
He repeated what he previously said.
OK, so, we narrowed down to Christian Catholics… everyone else on Earth is wrong.
I asked him if he read the Bible.
He confirmed: “I did.”
I think he lied.
I said: “In the Bible it is written in few places that there are some other gods around.”
He denied. I came with some examples: when God gave Moses the 10 commandments, He asked Moses not to tell his people about the other gods; Solomon asked his architects to build the biggest temple ever since our Lord is the biggest among gods…
He said that I do not know how to read the Bible, I need to ask a priest.
OK, so, we narrowed down even more, he was a Christian Catholic who did not read the Bible but take his knowledge from a priest.
I told him that there are priests who do not believe in God, and I reminded him about the Clergy Project (a society in US for the priests who lost faith).
He checked it on his cell this time (he thought that I made it up) and found that organization.
“I did not know that,” he admitted, and he felt guilty for some reason. It was a huge step forward, he admitted something obvious.
So, we narrowed down even more: Christian Catholics who do not read the Bible but listen to a priest who have faith.
I said: “Well, there are priests who abuse their followers. Remember about a year ago the scandal with 300 pedophile priests in Pennsylvania alone? How many are around US?”
He looked at me and I know what I saw: hate. And I know why, we narrowed down even more his group: Christian Catholics who do not read the Bible but listen to a priest who have faith and do not abuse the worshipers. And that group is the only one on planet Earth to know the truth about God.
He turned the hate on me.
“Why do you hate God?” he asked me and left for another table and never came back.
I do not remember saying anything bad about God, but he was lucky he left. Few more minutes of conversation and I could reduce his group to one.
And now I answer the question at the beginning of my blog, what is wrong with religion?
There is nothing wrong with religion. What is wrong are the worshipers.