Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Don't pimp your religion here
I'm not sure if it's just me or if this happens to other people too, but at least once a month somebody invites me to attend their church. Neighbors, customers, parents of my kid's friends, complete strangers... they all seem to think I'm in need of salvation. Religion pushers of the world listen up. I don't care how fun your church is, or how great the parishoners are, or how dynamic your priest is, or even how tasty the post mass doughnuts are. The answer is and always will be NO. On principle alone I will not go to your church, ever. Why? I'll tell you. Faith is an extremely important part of most people’s lives. It can create comfort in times of uncertainty or pain. It can give life purpose when you’ve lost your way. And it can help ease your mind about death and the afterlife. Therefore I'm a big proponent of religion and religious freedom. At the same time religion is an extremely personal matter and should be respected accordingly. People have individual reasons for choosing what religion, if any, is right for them. When you recruit someone to join your church you disrespect the decision they've aready made and you damage the credibility of the decision you've made. Seriously, if you're brainwashed enough to think that other people need your faith in order to be saved it's time to check yourself. You might actually be part of a cult masquerading as a church. In my opinion religion is not a thing to be pedaled door to door like magazine subscriptions or frozen meat, religion should not aggressively recruit new members to strengthen its reach, and religion should not advertise on TV like a corporation trying to create brand awareness. By definition if you truly have faith you shouldn’t feel compelled to grow the member base of your religion in order to validate its beliefs. By all means use religion to improve the overall quality of your own life, just don't try to sell yours to me because I'm not buying it.