Thursday, July 24, 2008

The only benefit of religion I've ever found

I've never seen much good in religion, except for one example while I was stationed overseas. I spent 15 years in the US Army (mostly the Iowa National Guard), including a year over in Kuwait on Active Duty. Not once during that time did I consider taking up a belief in any deity. Was I "pressured" to conform? Occasionally. But it was never too strong, and I was usually able to get out of whatever religious activity was going on by volunteering for something else.

However, the most entertaining push I got was when I was overseas. One of my buddies (an extremely evangelical Christian YECer) convinced me to attend his weekly worship service with him. I really enjoyed it -- seriously. Now, wait! Before you get all worried that I "found" god, let me explain.

We worked seven days a week, for 12-14 hours a day. That seems like a lot, but out in the desert, there's not much else to do. After a month of so of work, I noticed that John would sleep in on Sunday mornings, and then not show up to the command post until after lunch, but he never got in any trouble for it. I asked him what he was doing those mornings, and he told me "going to church". Of course, because it was "faith" related, the commanders all allowed it.

So I got myself permission to go with him. It was great -- I slept in an extra hour or two, went to the PX for a coffee and donuts, read the news (Army Times), and then went to the service. It was almost comical how much propoganda and brainwashing went on there. Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), I wasn't convinced of their beliefs. But it did get me out of work for a few extra hours a week, which made it worthwhile.

So, as far as I'm concerned, if you want to list the benefits of religion, the best (and only) one is that it can get you out of work once a week!

No comments: