Today I was reminded of the devastating effects of religion on the human mind. First the world of politics. There was a ‘debate’ among Republican senate candidates in North Carolina. Each was asked whether they believed in climate change. Not surprisingly, each said ‘No.’ But one added, ‘only God controls the climate.’
Sigh. Mixing religious beliefs with non-scientific thinking may be a sure winner among those who show up in GOP primaries, but we all can dread the possibility that he will sit in the Senate, determining action on complex issues. Will God help him decide?
Then there was a phone call from a friend who lives in the middle of nowhere- a rural county here in northern Ohio. We are the same age with a similar religious history. However, our religious development diverged greatly. During the conversation she made an astonishing statement. “The problem (we earlier discussed) is retribution by God for all of that nudity in California!”
Yes, that is what she believed. Incredible. What does a problem in a family in Ohio have to do with nudity 2000 miles away? Why does God punish us for behavior of others? Where did such a belief come from? Beats me!
What accounts for these odd religious beliefs? And what does it say about hope for the future of our nation? I shudder to imagine it.