Is Jesus a drug?

Sara - posted on 06/10/2010 ( 19 moms have responded )

9,313

50

586

Is Fundamentalist Christianity an Addiction?
Posted by Jerry on January 17, 2010


My first addiction was Jesus. My second was alcohol. For years now, I’ve lived without either, and without developing any new addictions. I grew up in the south and went to college in the Bible belt states, but having been away from that culture for so long, I sometimes forget how deeply ingrained the cult of Jesus really is among many communities, not just in the south, but throughout the US. Occasionally, meeting or hearing from someone reminds me of this phenomenon.
Is Jesus just another drug? It does make me wonder. I’d be the last person on earth to deny someone the right to live as they please, as long as they’re not harming or endangering others. But then, as an atheist, it seems to me that teaching young people that without accepting Jesus they’ll be sent to an eternal hell borders on emotional abuse. Still, I try to “live and let live.”

Not all Christians take their religion to such extremes, though. I’m not referring to ordinary Christians who go to church every Sunday but otherwise aren’t obsessing over Jesus or the Bible daily, or who see God fiddling in every tiny detail of their lives. (If “God is so Good” is your response to getting into the college class you wanted, or getting a date to the prom, then your standards for God’s goodness are pretty low anyway. And what will happen to God’s goodness when something not so pleasant happens to you?)

I’ve heard people talk about the human need for some kind of actual or psychological “drug” just to get them through the harsh realities of life. Most people I know go through some very tough times in their lives, and for sure, life is even harder for some than others. But personally, I think the notion that humans need their addictions regularly to get them through life is just a little ridiculous.

Here’s an interesting link:

http://www.mwillett.org/atheism/drug.htm

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Shelley - posted on 06/10/2010

435

0

34

I don't think the drug is Jesus. I think the drug is Self Righteousness Which i think all extremists suffer from whether they claim to be Christians, Muslims, Breast feeding mothers or Serial killers.
I'm a Christian so i find it hard to say that Jesus could be a problem but i know alot of cases where someones self righteous attitude is.

Johnny - posted on 06/10/2010

8,686

26

322

Whenever someone with faith asks how it is possible to live a moral life without a faith in God, in my opinion, they have crossed that line where that faith is taking up too much space in their head. If they can not imagine how people who don't believe aren't just going around murdering people or stealing their sheep, then their perspective has been shifted to the extent of an addict. Addicts can't imagine it is possible to live a life without their drug of choice. If they need their god to tell them how to make choices, they are in trouble.

[deleted account]

Interesting question. Yes, I think some people can become addicted to "feeling good" by going to church, singing a hymn, kum by ya, and all that jazz. I agree to an extent about what Carol said. Sure, I can make good decisions without God's guidance. I know many good, moral, non-Christians.

In my opinion though, if being a Christian and having Jesus boils down to "feeling good" it won't last. It's got to be deeper than that. I can tell you that it doesn't always "feel good" to be a Christian. God is God through the hardships and good times. If hardships make you question or loose the faith and turn to something else (alcohol perhaps, like this person) then you were just using Jesus like a drug...to feel good.

My answer to the question is "yes" and "no." I hope I made sense? Thought I'd through the perspective of a Christian in there among the other responses. =)

Pamela - posted on 06/17/2010

1,496

104

45

I think religion (of any kind) can indeed be an addiction - as can just about anything else. Relationships can be an addiction, as can sex, food, pursuit of money, wealth and power, our body image, exercise - even our children can become addictions. None of these are bad things in and of themselves (kids are great, sex is dandy, gotta have food and we need exercise to stave off the effects of all that munching we do), though when we turn to them for our meaning and definition of who we are; our comfort and life (a picture Jesus often used for "life" was "living water" which was moving water - it wasn't stagnant, full of algae and frog poop), well then we will find a dry stream bed where we had hoped to find fresh, running water. We find ourselves thirsty again and again and most likely terribly disappointed. That can bear some bad fruit.

We tend to think of addiction as primarily things like alcohol, drugs, competitive yodeling...okay, sorry. I just had to add that in...it's my brain on 50. Addictions are what and who we live for. It is safe to say that everyone of us (myself included) here on this discussion thread has an addiction of some sort or another. Where do we go when shit hits the fan? Ourselves? We certainly can do that - but at least in my experience, that can get a little thin after some time:o) It can get a lot lonely too.

So I guess what I'm saying is perhaps if we're going to be "addicted" to anything, perhaps it's best to "addicted" to God. When we turn to him for our comfort, our healing from the wounds that we all get in in this life; when we turn to him when times are good - or when times are not good - that's not a bad thing.

It becomes bad when we put our brains completely on the shelf and refuse to think at all. Much of what many of you are criticizing, I think, is the unquestioning acceptance of "what my pastor/priest/cleric/shaman said or taught". And rightfully so. Or the eternal chasing of good feelings - some people go from one revival to the next, looking for that "rush". Is it real? Is it God? Sure, it could be the real McCoy. But the real question is, does it produce lasting change that brings the fruit of compassion, kindness, gentleness, goodness, love - things like that? If it doesn't, then maybe it's time better spent doing something else.

If this "addiction" produces bigotry, hatred of others, genocide, war; if it upholds the values of empire, then it's bad, throw it out, get rid of it! It smells rancid and who wants rancid?

I hope this makes sense and that I've been coherent - if not, let me know and I'll attempt to work it out more clearly.

Iris - posted on 06/11/2010

1,993

29

51

This also makes me wonder if addicts and fanatics are so much different.
I know of people that have gone through drug addiction then sober up and become religious fanatics. It makes me think that the line is very thin between the two. Jesus is the next addiction and I don't think that's the cure, it's more like going from one addiction to another. People that do this are not getting back their individuality or personality in my opinion, they are hiding and afraid.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

19 Comments

View replies by

Pamela - posted on 06/17/2010

1,496

104

45

Lea, where did you hear that and what is that all about? It sounds strange...Have some Muslim clerics taken up listening to the Talking Heads album "Stop Making Sense"? Because it doesn't make any. Lol

La - posted on 06/11/2010

0

0

63

I personally think that belief in religion, god, or higher power of any kind is what some people need to make life seem meaningful. People need to believe there is something more than just dieing and becoming dirt. If that's what gets them through the day and makes them feel good about life more power to them. I'm a skeptic...I look at all religions as cults and get annoyed when people use Jesus, as opposed to logic, as a crutch.

Lea - posted on 06/11/2010

540

11

21

I heard about some muslim clerics advocating women giving breastmilk to grown men to fix the problem that women and men aren't supposed to mix. When religion > common sense, theres a problem.

[deleted account]

Michelle, I agree with you. Carol, I agree with you too up to a point. I managed to live a normal, morale life before Jesus so I understand what you're saying.



If people are expecting to feel a constant state of euphoria, they have missed the point. They're not addicted to the bible or Jesus they have obviously become addicted to the fuzzy feelings they get. When the high doesn't come they feel resentful and try to imply that the rest of us are addicts too by writing articles like this one. It's not our fault they went down this road instead of having a gentle, quiet and sometimes boring faith like the rest of us. It's not the bars fault that the same kind of person can't enjoy a drink responsibly either.



Some people can turn anything into an addiction, but most don't. It's not fair to portray us all as addicts.

Jocelyn - posted on 06/10/2010

5,165

42

275

I agree with all you ladies. IMO anything can become like a drug under the right circumstances.

[deleted account]

Is Jesus a drug? For some people I'm sure he can be.... food happens to be my drug of choice lately.....I've admitted it, now what? LOL!

Krista - posted on 06/10/2010

12,562

16

847

You mean I'm not supposed to steal sheep?

Sigh...I guess I better go find me a church.

Jenny - posted on 06/10/2010

4,426

16

129

I like how put that Carol. I agree 100%.

People can become addicted to all sorts of things from excercise to comic books to god. The first step is admitting you have a problem.

Amie - posted on 06/10/2010

6,596

20

412

Krista, That's horrible. I fully agree with you that is a negative force in a person's life.

Carol I agree with you too.

[deleted account]

There are some sections of the faith where the church is allowed to take over a members life to the extent that they are isolated from family, don't have a social life and they hardly have any time to even think about God let alone grow in their faith.

I hope people who actually study the bible would not allow their life to be controlled by guilt, the attention they get from others and the warm fuzzy feelings that certain music/preachers produce (some churches do get this way I'm sorry to say).

It's sad when this happens, but this is not Jesus and it is not what the bible teaches. This is another human institution, but I can how some people feel trapped and obligated to the extent that it looks like they're addicted.

Krista - posted on 06/10/2010

12,562

16

847

Interesting perspective. And I think there is some truth to it. There are many people who are religious and their religion complements their life. But then there are some who really seem to use their faith as a crutch, and go on as though their faith is the ONLY thing in their life keeping them from the gutter or the madhouse. In those cases, I think that people need to develop more confidence in their own emotional and mental strength, and not constantly attribute it all to Jesus or God.



And then you have some people for whom religion actually becomes a negative force. I was recently reading a thread on another forum. This woman is hardcore pro-life Christian. She is pregnant, and has a serious heart condition. And the child has serious genetic defects -- they're 100% sure about this. She's been told by her Ob-Gyn and by her cardiologist that if she does not terminate the pregnancy, she is very likely to die. She has three other children. And yet, she is agonizing about this, and some of the other ladies on the forum are telling her to risk it! To my mind, when your religion starts coming ahead of your own life and well-being, and the well-being of your living children, then it has become a negative addiction.

Sara - posted on 06/10/2010

9,313

50

586

I do think religion has generally become a negative aspect of human existence. It may start out as an idea, and ideas are just ideas in themselves, but once humans inject ideas into their lives, taking them as their own ideas, they result in a slew of consequences especially once dependence sets in. Depending on how a religious text and system is interpreted, such as the Bible by fundamentalists, using it to support slavery, bigotry, self-hatred, and misogyny instead of reading it as literature and mythology within the context of the time it was written, it can have negative emotional and psychological side effects on its practitioners. I do think it is important to understand religous belief is like addiction in that it is not completely something people choose, like chemical dependency, and is similar to a disease or a computer program. And I don't think that's only true for Christianity.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms