SEARCH BLOG: RELIGION
Picture the sweet face of a five-year old child being asked, "Where is your mother?" Then try to fathom the bright smile on her face when she answers, "She has been martyred."
I remember growing up in the 1950s across the street from a large Catholic church. There was also a small convent with nuns. People would go to Mass and then go on with their lives. Some of the kids would go home, change clothes, and come outside and try to hit squirrels with horse chestnut seeds from their slingshots. Mothers would do whatever the mothers did and dads would generally find something to do in the basement or garage. Religion was over for the week. The priests and nuns took care of God's work for the next six days.
But now everyone is in the religion business... or claims to be... doing "God's work." They are out there like surgeons who never took a biology class, but had practice gutting deer after a successful hunt. They repeat mindless phrases and perform mindless acts, fully expecting that God will be pleased.
The problem is that people have tried to do more than attend their religious rites. They have actually tried to interpret how their religion should become the central point of their lives. The problem is that they are not religious professionals. They do not have the training to understand that some parts of what is written or said are merely meant to provide release from reality... not meant to become reality. Professionals understand that. They tend their sheep and prevent them from trying to be anything but the passive recipients of mysterious knowledge.But mothers of five-year olds should stay at home and fix dinner for their children. And fathers should go to the basement or garage or watch TV. It seems to be a better idea than leaving the children alone with some really peculiar ideas.
Of course, sometimes the professionals can get a bit psychopathic like Hojatoleslam Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr who has recruited "true believers" to his cause. Or Iranian Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei who proudly supports Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in his quest for Armageddon. Then we really have trouble.
It is really better to leave these "acts of faith" to professionals such as al-Sadr and Khamenei who are well-trained for them. In fact, we should all encourage them to be the professionals they are and take back their professional privileges.