Saturday, February 6, 2016

Celestial Surroundings

The urge to tout one's religious beliefs must be primal.  Or at least instinctual enough to overcome social norms of behavior in public.  I'm thinking of my "elevator preacher" who manages to deliver a sermon as we ride from the 26th floor down to the lobby.

Then there is my beautiful garage man Clement.  He has traces of an English accent via Africa.  On Sunday mornings I tease him about setting me "straight for the week."  I'm listening to his church music while waiting for my car.  (Yes, it's Sunday morning and I'm only going to the store.)

When I was living on the South Side and taking the El from 95th, it was a chorus of "praise Jesus" all the way into the Loop.

I don't get all of this worshipping.  And it makes me sad when I think of how religion keeps us at war.  But, I do know that we all look for ways to "get us through the night."  So, I am happy to smile and let the blessings fall where they may.


  1. You might be interested in the Pulitzer Prize winning "The Denial of Death" by Ernest Becker. He addresses the use of religious beliefs and much more about the human condition. His book triggered an entire field of psychological research called "Terror Management Theory." The terror is not terrorism, but the fear of mortality.

  2. Very interesting thoughts. I do understand the power of religion to "get us through the night". I do remember it helping me several times long ago. What bothers me so much now is the people using it as an excuse to murder, rape and pillage, though it always has. I always mention the Crusades when someone talks about the Middle East now.

  3. I share your thoughts on religion, Joan. Perversely, I truly believe that religious belief is at the root of most human conflagration down through the ages. Religious belief negates the advancement of the human intellect and creates the "us" versus "them" dynamic which is becoming more and more toxic every day. But I can also identify with something that Jack Nicholson said about being able to work up an envy for people who can find such comfort and relief from the tribulations of every day life in their religion. It just comes at too high a price for me.