All kinds of religions promote the idea of faith because they have nothing substantial to offer. A congregation must have faith to contribute to the fine edifice in which the mistering takes place, guiding the flock that bought the building. The clergyperson, be it a man or woman, Christian or Muslim, Jew or Buddhist or any of the hundreds of religions that cover the planet Earth, is just a person. Just as is every person, the clergy person is subjected to temptation and often is in a position of authority over a victim.

I am unable to have faith because I have no justification for it. Evil people succeed, good people suffer and everyone is forced to be on guard. The need to protect one’s self reduces the amount of pleasure one acquires in their lifetime. Perhaps the clergyperson is actually taking refuge from the jarring realities of daily life. They live in an atmosphere meant to reflect a connection with god. Such a connection cannot exist because there is no god. People should be good because it’s right, not because they hope to avoid hell or purgatory.

I certainly agree with the good works that religious cults do. The havens for homeless, the soup kitchens for the destitute and hungry are wonderful acts of high dedication. I just don’t understand why god has to be involved. Why do ragged, hungry people have to listen to a sermon before they’re given food? Are they being force-fed faith?

A few times in my life I’ve been at risk of bodily injury or worse. In each case, I believe I saved myself where a ‘believer’ might have failed, asking god for salvation instead of bearing down of the crisis and dealing with it.