by John Dillon
What is worship?
Honestly, what is it? Your guess is as good as mine. What do I find if I look it up in a dictionary? To adore or to venerate is the short answer. However, there has to be an object of worship and that’s where I run into trouble. You see, I have a worship deficit in my psyche. If I think hard, have I ever worshipped anything or anyone in my life? Why, yes, when I was a child I worshipped my parents. But then, my survival depended upon them, so why wouldn’t I? Beyond that, let me think… Mmmh. Nothing. What about love you ask? Isn’t that a kind of worship? I guess so, but hopefully it’s reciprocal. There’s one thing for certain about worshiping a deity, it’s one-sided.
What have the Gods Ever Done for Us?
Throughout history, the various gods conjured up by humanity have always demanded worship, but as the famous question goes, ‘What have they ever done for us?’ The answer in this case really is nothing. Some deluded souls think they deliver hope and salvation, but to be honest, I can do without that kind of salvation, and I live in hope without any supernatural third party offering to provide it. It seems to me that dancing to their tune involves endless commitment to meaningless rituals, and bizarrely, obeying the diktat of some ancient scripture composed by fantasists in a pre-scientific age. Really? In the twenty-first century? Get a life.
Kneeling and Kowtowing?: Give me a Break!
When I reflect, I can see that all people of faith possess this elusive worshipping faculty, and they appear to be obsessive about it: dashing hither and thither to the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. What’s more, they voluntarily waste lots of their all too disposable income on supporting such institutions. I’d have thought money was better spent on surviving and lavishing any surplus on the simple pleasures in life. Oh, and on enhancing the lives of others, perhaps. But no, buildings and holy orders of one kind or another are much more important to them. They have to have some place to worship and someone to tell them in no uncertain terms how to do it. What’s more, they appear to enjoy kneeling, bowing and scraping in obeisance to these commissars of worship. I just don’t get it.
OK, Where’s the Fun?
Now, if I could choose to be cured of this missing faculty, would I? Let me think. That took about a millisecond. Nope. It appears to me that possession of this curious capacity over-complicates life. Just imagine how much extra free time I’ve got to indulge in a dissolute and hedonistic lifestyle. Ah, but I guess that’s the point. If all my spare time were taken up in worship, there ‘d be less time for me to have FUN, and that’s the last thing any of these superstitious sects want me to have. They just don’t like human nature, do they? At all costs, my primeval instincts and desires must be contained, otherwise the wrath of god will be upon me. Behave! But wait a minute, wasn’t that how my parents used to act, ostensibly for my own good? Why, yes. Now I get it. Worshipful people never grow out of their infantile parent-worshiping stage. Most of us learn to see through it, don’t we? You know, when we hit those teenage years and fly the nest: bye mum and dad; bye belief in fairies and Santa; bye Peter Pan, you’re welcome to live in Neverland; oh and you can kiss goodbye to that invisible gal or guy in the sky too! So there you go. ‘What is worship?’ T simples. It’s an expression of perpetual immaturity.