Stocking Stuffer Religion

My youngest daughter has always been able to do incredible things with animals. We have seen cats dressed up in doll clothes and wheeled in a baby carriage around the neighborhood. We have seen gerbils fitted out in puppet clothes and given run of the puppet theater. The Maltese on our cover was dressed up in a variety of costumes depending on the season or what was going on in our lives. In all of these cases the animals seem to sense our daughter's love and positive spirit and passively endured all that was done to them. As long as they were not hurt or scared and the environment was positive, they participated passively no matter what costume or role they were asked to assume.

For most people in our society, religion is treated in exactly the same way. Instead of getting stuffed into a sock, they get stuffed into a pew. As long as they are not hurt or scared and the environment is positive, they will participate passively no matter what role or position they are asked to assume. The more people are entertained in such a system, the more likely they are willing to be stuffed into a pew. If the entertainment becomes dull, the jokes cease to be funny; if demands are made, they leave. Churches become contestants for the services of entertaining speakers in such a system, and the speakers who are really good command large salaries.

It is our contention that the most fundamental flaw that produces all of this is a lack of education. As a culture, we do not know why we believe what we believe. Church is a social institution, not a religious institution. As a culture we do not know what God is or how His nature relates to our nature. If people really believe God is, know what His nature is, and how we are created in His image we will not be stuffed into a belief system that breeds apathy and indifference. The Does God Exist? program is designed to be an educational program that presents our culture with information to avoid stocking stuffer religion.

--John N. Clayton

Back to Contents Does God Exist?, NovDec99.