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Religion for the Non-Religious

March 23, 2008

Being today is Easter, my family decided we should fulfill our religious obligations again today.  We do the same thing at ever other religious holiday.  Attending a church service for the sake of saying we are religious.  Well today I didn’t go and neither did my middle son.  As a matter of fact they are still servicing their religious needs as we speak.

What is it about holidays that make us feel we need to visit our related place of worship?  Is it the need to update so we will know what is happening in our religion or something deeper?  Do we figure that a couple times a year will be sufficient to keep us in the good graces of the high power in our lives?  Whatever it is we go back again and again, religious holiday after religious holiday.

This is my problem with organized religion.  The need to visit a certain place to worship our deity of choice and the need to do it on certain days of the week or times of the year.  Who made up all of these rules?  I personally like things which run on my time.  A religion I can live with is one where I have a lot of control over when things are done and why.  For this very reason I have settled on paganism as a whole.  There isn’t the need for me to worship following rule I don’t believe in.  The mainstream religions have so many rules that just don’t make sense.  The other thing about mainstream religion is that those who follow it don’t really follow it like they should. 

There are many more things I don’t understand about many religions but I don’t want to start a debate among otherwise calm and rational individuals.  There are other things about holidays that I don’t get as well.  Why is it we feel the need to get together with family only on these preset dates on the calendar?  Why are holidays so important when it comes to family feasts?

I ask this because a little later today I will be going to my brother’s house, my brother whom I see almost every day and the rest of my family I live with.  Why is it we only get together as a family now?  What is the reasoning for it?  I would understand it if, say, one of our family members lived out of state and could only make it back here for the holidays but this isn’t the case.  We all live within a few blocks of one another and see each other all the time.  There is no need to get caught up because we already know almost everything about each others lives.  So why is it we need to sit down and break bread?

Easter is usually the holiday where the little girls and boys get all dressed up in their cute new light colored dresses or suits and do egg hunts in the yard.  This image from my youth has changed so much that today it doesn’t have any meaning.  There aren’t many times where you see real life scenes from movies like Steel Magnolias.  People can go to the local Wal-Mart and do an Easter egg hunt and most people don’t get as fanciful as the used to this time of year.  Maybe it is just me but I think this is the case.  We don’t have the time anymore.  No one gets to know their neighbors and if you do then you must be snooping.  I long for the old days when people took contact with others for granted.  Easter reminds me of that.

Well sorry I got a little long winded.  I need to get going.  Church service is over and the eating is just about to begin.  So happy Easter to those who celebrate.  For those who don’t try not to eat too many eggs or too much chocolate.

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