Oblivion sounds ominous. Is it really something to be feared? Apparently it has terrified 90 some percent of us into attending some form of organized religion. I don’t worry about what happens when we die. I don’t really care. If Heaven or Hell is really the choice when we die, I already know where I’m going. If it is some other cosmic travel to the next life, bring it on. Religion doesn’t influence me because I’m not afraid of eternal damnation. On the contrary, I embrace it. After all I worked so hard to earn it.

So where am I going with this? What purpose does religion serve today? I understand that religion was important before we as a species understood what an eclipse was, for example. What caused floods, droughts, epidemics and those shiny, twinkling things in the night sky? Since no one could convincingly explain any of these events a deity had to be responsible. Since we didn’t want to believe that anyone who could create “so much majesty” (flowers, trees, lakes and oceans and the platypus), he/she/it had to be benevolent. Thus came religion. Someone then had the great idea that the way to keep people from wantonly raping, pillaging and smoking cigarettes was to create a set of rules, or commandments to scare people into behaving in such a fashion as to keep them from burning in the pit of Hell.

Today we have police, courts of law and women that can run for office. I mean we have come a long way. Aside from some Art Bell listeners, most people know what causes floods, epidemics, eclipses and that those are stars in the night sky (as yet no one can come up with an explanation for the platypus, or Tori Spelling for that matter). Is there really a place for religion today?

Nah, ditch it. If it had embraced the expanse of knowledge as we have evolved, then maybe there’s a place for it to give comfort to those that worry about what happens to them when they die. Instead it attempts to hold on to outmoded beliefs and ancient morality. I say thanks for the memories, but we’ve outgrown the need to be scared into behaving well.

-David Wagner plans on making Satan his bitch when he gets to Hell.