Lou Dripkin 16-Sep-93 10:25pm Never Again I used to be a Regular Joe, just like you. I ne
I used to be a Regular Joe, just like you. I never thought that I
was the sort of guy that could get addicted to anything. Yeah, I
did go to a political rallies here and there, but I stayed away
from the really hard stuff. I'm just not cut out to be that sort of
But then it happened. One night, about four years ago, I went with
a friend of mine to hand out some kind of leaflets on the street.
It seemed innocent enough. The leaflets described a revival tent
meeting that night in the woods outside of town. They said that
lots of people would be there and it would be a good time for
everyone. My friend pleaded with me...said there would be lots of
girls there. so I went, just on the dare.
About ten minutes after I got there, I was greeted by "The Rev" who
was the leader of the pack. He told me all about how Jesus was my
own personal savior. I was a little hesitant to get involved with
something that strong, but the temptation to accept something that
would help to "straighten me out" was very tempting. So I agreed to
try it. I thought that just a little religion wouldn't be too bad
for me. Just this once. What the hell?
I found that during the evening, I no longer cared about the facts
that made life difficult. It was made clear to me that all I had to
do was to stop thinking and let the religion do the rest. Just
relax and let it take me. So I did. I found myself the next week
with a burning desire to get some more religion. It was there for
the asking. But this time, when i showed up at the tent, they
demanded an admission fee. Just a dollar, what the hell? I was
going to stop after this weekend anyway.
But the next weekend I was back and they wanted ten bucks. I was
happy to pay the fee as I wasn't addicted and it all went for a
good cause, didn't it? After I had had a big hit of religion that
I found myself speaking in tongues. I stood on the pulpit and
announced that I was a sinner. I had never thought about it, but it
was true. didn't I learn about evolution in the classroom? Hadn't I
drunk the Devil's Own Brew? It was clear that this was a much
better life than the one that I was leading.
Within two years, I had begun to tithe ten percent of all my
earnings. then twenty percent. I had lagged behind at work because
I was going to prayer meetings three times a day. Religion had
taken my life and I didn't even know it. My boss called me into the
office to see what was going on. I got mad at him because he was
prying into my private life. Why didn't he leave me the hell alone?
Why didn't they all leave the hell alone? My wife kept ragging on
me about leaving the house for hours at night to go to prayer
meetings. She said that I never spent any time with the kids any
more. She said that I was not the man that she had married. I wish
now that I had listened to her.
I got active in church politics. I picketed disgusting abortion
centers and threw human feces at the doctors and nurses. I helped
bring a lawsuit to prevent evolution from being taught in the
public schools. I did nothing else. It ruled my life. It was
ruining my job, and my family.
Then one day about six months ago, I came home to find that my wife
had left me and taken the kids. This was her fault . I convinced
myself of that. Then two weeks later, my boss fired me. it made no
difference. I could get help at the church. But when I went to the
church, they told me that my tithes were in arrears. There would be
no more religion until I paid up my dues.
I became a wild man. I went out on the street. I found religion
there, but it wasn't as pure as what I got at the church. Fact was,
that it was not the same and caused me to lose sight of what I
wanted. so I became desperate. I went and got a gun and on Sunday
morning, I hid in the church and listened to the service. When it
was over, I wanted more, so I ran to the pulpit and held the gun on
the preacher and made him give me more religion. this time it would
Afterwards, high on Jesus, I ran from he church and got into my car
and drove off. I must have been doing about 90 and weaving in and
out of traffic as a cop pulled me over. I tried to act calm, but
the silly grin spread all over my face. Then the cops checked my
tags and I was arrested for holding up the church and driving under
the influence of a bible.
Now I ma in rehab and see the error of my ways. My wife visits me
every so often, and when I get out, we plan to move away and make a
new life for ourselves.
I tell you this to keep you from making the same mistake I did.
Just say "NO!" to religion.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank