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Published:May 8th, 2010 20:38 EST

Religion: My Questions, Concerns and Confusion

By John Danz, Jr.

*After reading this, please send all input to or I am looking for answers.

Since my radio show is on a weekend break, I figure I`ll write a little something here.

Religion is always an interesting topic to me because at the very sight of the word it can invoke so many different words and feelings. You either avoid it completely, or you enjoy discussing it. There are also different realms as to enjoying the discussion of religion - enjoying it for good, healthy debate and to see other sides, or to incessantly bash other sides and call opposing viewpoints moronic (such is the case with many other topics).

Personally, at my young age I can`t say I know everything about every religion, but I think I know just enough to hold a strong opinion of it. I always take pleasure in questioning the perceived reality of things, and the topic of religion allows me to do that more than anything in this society. The perceived reality of religion is that there is a supreme deity above us who watches all that we do, and that we must worship this being. We must adhere to the words of the specific book for our chosen religion, lest we meet an eternity in the unsavory afterlife of whatever religion we practice.

The one burning question I always pose in a religious debate is this, and it`s actually more of a scenario: A murderer/rapist is on Death Row. While on Death Row, the man atones for his sins by accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He sincerely finds a connection with God and he is finally at peace with himself. Meanwhile, the family of his victim are waiting to see him put to death to satiate their biblical need for retribution. Now, since this man has given himself up to Christ, doesn`t that mean he gets a seat in Heaven? What would the victim`s family think if they found out that this careless, cold, callous man will be in Heaven with their family member?

Which brings me to another point: Religion is all about mind control and shading the truth. The family of the victim won`t stop to think that this man could technically be going to Heaven because the thoughts of him being killed as punishment completely supersede their better judgment. There was no mercy for the victim - why should there be mercy for the killer?

When something can`t be logically explained, a lot of times I hear the explanation "God works in mysterious ways." Yes, some other mysteries I want answers to are the murders, rapes, muggings, robberies, assaults and other atrocities perpetuated by careless souls in this society that God allows. How about if someone wins the $100 million jackpot lottery? The first person given credit is God. What happens when their house burns down and all of their valuable possessions are lost forever? God`s name isn`t mentioned once.

Speaking of credit, let me discuss rehabilitation programs for alcoholics and drug addicts. Alcoholics Anonymous will essentially tell you that you need to give control of your life to God, and he will take the reins and you will become clean, sober and a productive member of society. "I Am Second" is a big example of this foolery. For example, a heroin addict goes to rehab, works his ass off for grueling says and months, detoxes, has fits of rage, cries, weeps, shakes and screams  his way to eventual soberness. Now, who gets all the credit for that dedication, perseverance and will?  GOD.

Since I`m on a roll here, I will state that another way religion is useful is making ourselves feel better about the future. If we ever cross a time where we doubt the outcome of the future, someone will tell us that God is the answer and with him in control, everything will work out. What happens when everything doesn`t work out? Just try again; he`ll listen eventually? You see, a lot of people confuse realism with pessimism. If you say something won`t go so well, you`re a pessimist. If that event turns out just as you expected - bad - you still should have hoped for the best. If it goes well, it just further proves their point. However, people with faith in religion have the ultimate hindsight - GOD. "Well, things didn`t work out, but God has plans for me, so I can`t be too upset."

Which brings me to my final point - PRAYER and God`s plan. The ultimate result of hopelessness, blind faith and futility. You see, many people believe that God has a plan for us all. God wrote our life story when we were born, he holds the answer, and only in death will we finally figure it out. Every event in life is just another anecdote in the pages of our book. So, what`s the point in prayer? Do you think God will whip out the holy eraser and rewrite some things just to please you and just because you asked? Is that not sort of arrogant? He already has your plan; why not skip the prayer and just let it be?

I write all of this in hopes that anyone out there can give me some answers. People on the SOP are highly intelligent, and I figured this was the perfect place to get some of my burning questions answered. I`ve always struggled with the concept of religion and all of the guidance I`ve received has been all-in-all negative and/or confusing. Please write me at or with any of your input and/or answers. Thanks for reading.