|Source:Politcis and Prose- Eric Motley and Elaine Pagels at Politcis and Prose, in Washington .|
When Pagels, author of groundbreaking studies of the Gnostic Gospels, was asked, “Why religion?" she found that her own life illuminates both why she’s made a career of studying religious texts as well as why religion itself still exists in the supposedly secular 21st-century. The daughter and wife of scientists, Pagels was taught to trust the rational, but she found herself attracted to religious music and rituals for how they engaged the imagination. After the loss of her five-year-old son in 1987, followed by her husband’s death in an accident in 1988, Pagels turned to religion for help in facing her grief and anger. Interweaving the fascinating scholarship behind books such The Origin of Satan and Revelations with her own experiences, Pagels’s memoir is as emotionally affecting as it is thought-provoking.
Pagels is in conversation with Dr. Eric Motley, executive vice president at the Aspen Institute and author of the memoir Madison Park."
From Politics and Prose
As someone who is Agnostic and proud of it who believes in reason, science, facts, and only has faith in people, things, institutions that I trust based on the evidence that I've seen from being around them and talking to them, I can actually see why people would be attracted in religion. As someone who believes in the First Amendment which includes the Freedom of Religion in America, ( sorry Hippies, I'm not spiritualist and I'm not a Communist either ) I can see why people would want religion, be involved in America, and even need it. I guess the difference between an Agnostic and an Atheist, especially a fundamentalist Atheist ( and yes, there is such a thing ) like a Communist to use as an example.
|Source:Good Reads- From Elaine Pagels|
Now, depending on what religion you are a member of determines what moral values that you believe in and follow that helps you in your life. I can easily see how people can get positive benefits from being a part of a religion and get positive benefits from attending church and listening to their religious leader every week give a sermon, especially when they're going through rough times and need help getting through those tough times. Even though religion is not for me and I prefer to use evidence and reason to get through those tough times in our lives.
|Source:C-SPAN- Elaine Pagels, on C-SPAN|
Religion, has been used by alcoholics to get over their alcoholism. It's been used to help career criminals who are doing long-term prison sentences get their life going on a positive track so once they're finally out of prison they can become positive members of their community once they're free. As much as I might hate religious fundamentalism in all forms, ( and trust me, I do ) people should also understand and beware of the positive aspects of religious life as well.