The Insatiable Demands of Religion

The following is the second in a series of writings which I have composed previously. It was written in October 2004.

Religion is unique among the phenomena of human existence in at least one very important way. Only religion can demand that individuals devote their entire lives to it and get away with it: Go to church more often. Spend more time in prayer. Eat less and go hungry. Read more religious books. Give more money to the church. Give more money to charities. Spend more time volunteering. Think of yourself as less than dirt and remind yourself that everything bad is your fault and everything good is an undeserved gift from God. Surrender your most precious desires for freedom, family, and possessions to the church and vow to God that you will do this forever.

Nothing is ever good enough for God. He always wants more, more, more. You must always push towards the literally unattainable goal of absolute perfection and never rest; if you stop trying, you might slip up and be tortured in unquenchable fire forever. Imagine if your employer always made you feel guilty and imply that you might suffer eternally if you didn't work longer each day; your school if you didn't write longer reports; retailers if you didn't purchase more products. It's unthinkable. But religion gets away with it because it's “divine” and we “owe” everything to some mysterious hidden creator.


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