Religion is like a book.
(A writer is comparing something to a book! Call the Simile Police! Dial 418! Hurry!)
Maybe we should have been talking about politics and religion all these years. What if we could have avoided some of the problems we are currently having IF we had been a little more open to the exchange of ideas. Or, maybe, I just like having a soapbox to stand on. Please, just bear with me.
Religion is like a book. You could read just one. But, why? You could follow just one. But, why?
Two books with rabbits as central characters influenced me as a child. What if one of them had been the holy writ of my heritage? Would my Gods have blue coats with brass buttons, as told by of Beatrix Potter? Or, would my Gods have existential dread, along with fierce loyalty, by way of Richard Adams?
Is the world working to destroy me, or just making it hard to get enough to eat? Am I being controlled by parental favors, or nature and survival of the fittest? Am I guided in how to live in simple parables, or complicated and counter-intuitive laws? Are the rules for being clothed strictly enforced, or non-existent? Would my punishment for transgressions be blood and violence in the dark, or chamomile tea before being sent to bed early?
Which rabbit gods are the Righteous Rabbit Gods? Or should we completely stay away from stories of rabbits, altogether?
When it comes down to it, I believe these stories tell us far less about rabbits and much more about humans. I feel the same about religion. You can really understand a person when you see how they practice their religion, or lack of one. Do your gods wield hammers and lightning, or shame and guilt? Is the religion of your lineage the Right Way, or just the most comfortable and familiar? Did you read a different book at some point in your life, and decide to follow other gods? Or did you decide such things were only for children?
Books shape us, both the religious and the secular. Even the books we don’t read shape us, because they shape other people, and those people shape the world we live in. This is why I read books about many kinds of rabbits, and many kinds of religions. To learn about rabbits and religions, of course, but mostly to learn about humans.
Humans see everything as a reflection of ourselves, and then we write stories about what we see. A continuous loop, of learning and life. Like a reader becoming a writer, and a writer who reads even more.
I may have to amend my first statement. Life is like a book. Or, perhaps writers are like a book. SOMETHING is like a book.
BOOKS ARE LIKE A BOOK!