My religion is important to me in many ways. My family was not overly active in church when I was young. We celebrated the holidays and attended services from time to time. What would I miss the most if I were an atheist? Holidays, how could one live without the hope of Easter or joy of Christmas or even the lights of Hanukkah? Some atheists claim April first as their day, but most calendars label that day as All Fools Day.
I don’t mind being called a sheep, as many atheists call us. There is something about being part of a herd that is comforting even if one lives on its edges. I wouldn’t like being called a fool as that is what one is called in the Bible if he says in his heart that there is no God.
Chreasters is a term for parishioners who only show up for Christmas and Easter. I wonder what our Jewish friends call people who only show up on holy days? At least there are some days the rabbi doesn’t have to worry about minyan (minimum attendance for a service). Don’t you sometimes wonder if a goy (slang for a gentile) or two isn’t recruited off the street and snuck in to make a minyan? “Psst, free coffee and bagel if you wear this little cap for an hour.”
It is said there are no atheists in foxholes. There are very few atheists in Basic Military Training either. A recruit learns early that Sunday work details are formed just after the faithful leave for chapel. My son went to two services each week, just to be on the safe side. I personally know that a lot of praying was done in field hospitals during the war. Beside my own prayers, I repeated what the others were praying. One fellow who lived next to a Catholic Church kept calling out, “Bingo!”
One of my best friends in the Army was Jewish. To impress him, I memorized a Jewish prayer from the Armed Forces Hymnbook. I joined him the next Saturday for prayers and recited it. How was I to know that this Kaddish was a prayer for the dead?
It used to be a saying among salesmen that you could impress a prospect by going to his church. Just my luck, my customers were Chreasters. I learned the liturgy of every denomination and still stunk at sales. That is why I made a career of fixing things that other people sold. Too bad I couldn’t make money writing humor, I wouldn’t have to pray so much.
Early in my career I discovered how much paper and water I could save by training my body to wait until I got to work to do its daily movement. It was a little more difficult on Sundays as I had to wait an hour and a half longer before services began. I even thought about joining the Seventh Day Adventists to take care of Saturdays too. Instead I found a Synagogue which was much closer. It is too bad that, I am not allowed to use the mikveh (Jewish version of a baptistry) or I could also skip my weekly shower.
Thank you for reading. Be blessed and be a blessing.