I have the sense that many of the ‘regular’ contributors to this blog might answer, not at all. Yet, we might be an odd group here in the Land of the Free. Just the other day my wife and I were in a breakfast diner and diagonally to my seat were two people, bibles in hand. The woman was taking notes as the two of them apparently discussed sections of the Bible. This in northwest Ohio. No doubt, this scene is more common the further one travels southward. I would expect a scene like this to be quite rare in Europe.
As you know, ‘religion’ and I have been at odds for quite a few years; I’m up to my gills on religion, having saved myself from drowning in it on many occasions. As a result, I find it quite odd that a whole swath of my fellow citizens actually bathe daily in religious waters. What is their motivation? What do they gain from the experience? What am I missing?
The more poignant question is this: do these people who regularly read the Bible and follow biblical teachings know that the book is mostly myth? Further, do they understand that it was written specifically for the tribe of the Israelites for their time, their place, their culture and their situation?
Probably not. Why? Because no one told them that. It was fed to them like formula to an infant. Don’t think, just believe.
As I have often said, it would be perfectly fine for this group of people to have such faith, such belief if they did not impact the greater society. They might be regarded as the Amish- its fine for them, but not for me.
Rather, these tens of millions of bible-believers think that it is appropriate for the nation’s culture, laws and practices to be influenced by their beliefs. Influences may be too weak: they want Christian beliefs to be entwined in to American constitutional law. Ironically, some of these same Christians are screaming about Sharia Law- that this set of Islamic laws ought not become the law of this land. Sadly, they cannot even see their own reflection in all of that.
To the point of this post: Faith, ie religious faith, impacts my life most often negatively. Rather, I have faith in the people I choose to call friends and family. I need not bounce anything off of a Satellite in the Sky in order to enjoy them and have that relationship enrich my life so that I become able to call myself a fully-functioning adult male.