Saturday, January 8, 2011

Finding religion is like finding a diet

A reader posted a link to Teller's video talking about proselytizing, Teller said that if you believe with your whole heart that you have the truth then you should tell people. I get that point. That made think of comparing religion to dieting. You have a friend Sue who recently improved her health, lost/gained weight, toned muscles, etc. She's happy and wants to share how she did it. She tells you she followed this plan called Diet A (I know, not very creative!). You listen to her, because it sounds interesting and you can see that it helped Sue immensely. You go to the meetings, get the products, follow the plan to the letter. But guess what, it doesn't work for you. You have another friend who swears by a different plan called Diet B. You go to the meetings, get the products, follow the plan and voila! You feel great!

You and Sue have a mutual friend Bob. Bob sees both you, happy and content, and wants to know what plan to use. You say Diet B but Sue says Diet A. Who is right? Who should Bob believe? Bob is confused so he researches both and finds things he likes about A and B but things he dislikes. He creates Diet AB and lo and behold, he gets results!

So now we have 3 diet plans that all work. So again, which one is the right one? Should Sue tell Bob he's not using the right plan even though he has verifiable results?

Replace "diet" with "religion" and hopefully you can see my point. If something works for you, you want to share it – I get that. But you cannot force it. Let them make the choice. If someone says no thank you, respect that. Don't try to come up with ways to overcome their objections. Spirituality should not be a sales pitch.

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