Religion and the Economic downturn – Priorities get twisted?

Came across an article published by the University of New Hampshire last year;

Lent may help Catholics during Economic Downturn

Well if they give up travelling in gas guzzling SUV’s or having 3 maids in the house, sure. Not by giving up McDonald’s, Crispy Creme’s or Cadbury’s. Those three examples were true examples, by the way. Its very rare, or almost impossible to find anyone that has given up anything more serious than Spring rolls. Its almost as hard to find Jesus, as a bunny, laying chocolate eggs during Easter. Maybe this tradition has some value, maybe it tries to instill some discipline into our over indulgent lives, but absolutely through no rational or humanistic approach. Its because big ol’ daddy is watching from the skies.

You know what I gave up for lent? Believing in superstitious powers.

Please don’t think I’m defending the concept of Lent and lamenting on how people don’t take it seriously anymore. I’m glad that Catholic people don’t take it seriously, preparing yourself through prayer, penitence, alms giving and self denial to commemorate a holy week? University students do those things before every exam!

Back to the economic downturn, its no uncommon situation when people resort to extremes when times are hard, especially financially. Alcohol, depression, suicide, violence, guns………..and religion. I’m sure the number of giving of alms, and pooja’s (gifts to gods) must have rocketed through the asbestos roofs the temples and kovil’s of Sri Lanka, filling those lovely bronze coffers. Whilst respecting the right to believe and gift to whoever you wish, I ask you to inject yourself a bit of perspective from a fat syringe, new needle of course. Think about the people who also affected far more than you due to these hard times. Instead of making our already well off clergymen more comfortable, and without keeping money with a platter of delicious fruit under a picture of your favourite god, think about people who are finding it even harder to keep some food on their table, to buy some books for their kids. We know how to help each other, and we can, we just need to prioritise who to help.

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