As someone whose career has always been about the Bible, I’ve noticed that many intelligent people are naive. They seem to believe that since they’ve outgrown the need for religion that it doesn’t exist among the majority. I guess that’s another way of saying their thinking tends toward elitist. The vast majority of people in the world are religious. Among the elites, since about the sixties, there’s been the fervent belief that religion will die out in the face of science. That hasn’t happened, of course, and it’s not likely to. In the meanwhile, the idea persists and replicates itself and religion is ignored until people fly jets into towers or elect Trump or commit some other extremely catastrophic act. There’s then usually a flare up of interest that dies down when the danger is past.
I wasn’t very socially aware in the sixties. I was quite religious, though. The religious, although always in the majority, constantly talked about being under threat of extinction. There was, even then, a paranoia about being discounted. Some of the elites realized that by pretending to be religious themselves they could make use of those numbers. In other words there are forces, not from any divine source, keeping the interest in religion high. Only the naive ignore it. That’s one of the reasons it distresses me to see institutions of higher education cutting religion programs. It plays into the worst sort of elitism to ignore the vast majority of the human population. Meanwhile, subjects that bring in cash thrive.
Growing up in an uneducated environment may have been a hidden blessing. It can sometimes instill a lifelong desire to learn, even if your outlook is discounted. I’ve always believed in education, and when it wasn’t, or isn’t, available I tend to self medicate by reading. Reading about religion is always a learning experience. There’s something profoundly human about it. Acknowledging that something greater than ourselves is out there, whether you want to face it as divine or natural, seems wise to me. I think we all know it’s there. How we choose to respond to it, however, differs widely. We’ve had glimpses of what the universe would be like if humans were the most puissant beings out there. The results, based on the headlines, aren’t terribly encouraging. I see these things and say something, but it’s ever so easy to ignore someone whose career has always been about the Bible.