Going to a Carol Service

It’s weird being an outsider, y’know. But, I went to a Carol Service, ‘cos it was Christmas, innit.

Ok, let’s examine this: I didn’t go because it was Christmas. It was to do stuff related to recording the service for an unspecified reason for a friend. And because it was Christmas, that’s why the Carol Service was happening. But hey, I’m probably explaining stuff you already know.

Anyway, I don’t ever do this religion stuff, so, as I say, I’m an outsider. Therefore seeing god-bothering in action is a novelty at best and very strange and unusual, maybe even scary, at worst.

I don’t get exposed to people prostrating themselves at their god’s feet on a daily basis. Well, I suppose, not ever really.  So, this was a novelty for me.

The bit I found most fascinating is how ‘real’ it is for those under its spell. I thought it would be just a sing-song. However, at various random points a keyword would be said, and eyes would close or heads would bow and all would go silent and ‘pray’. This is similar to watch to the state that those deeply hypnotised will drop into on command by a stage hypnotist for the amusement and entertainment of the rest of the un-hypnotised audience.

However, the un-hynotised audience for this Carol Service seemed to consist of one – me.

I appreciate that there are other religions that demand their drones fall into this type of trance 5 or 6 times a day rather than stop and question or free-think about what they are doing, so this particular religion with its Carol Service lets its followers off a bit.

I’m sure those attending went away feeling spiritually cleansed and rejuvenated, and I know that most can’t exist without the addiction of the crutch that their religion gives them. However, shouldn’t we be rehabilitating them and encouraging them to think for themselves? Or would it be dangerous having a world of free-thinkers?

2 comments

  1. Has it occurred to you that these people are free thinkers and have made a conscious decision to follow a religion?

    Should we also insist on rehabilitating all those who follow a football team? or a singer? or a radio station? They too are all free thinkers who have made a choice

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  2. I might agree with you, were we talking about people who are adults and have been born again. And I'd more likely agree with you had they been brought-up without religious indoctrination and then suddenly decided to follow a particular religion.

    However, I can't agree that following a belief in a god is like following a football team, singer or radio station. Followers of the latter are unhealthily obsessed about things that are real and tangible. Followers of religions are not following the real and tangible, any more than those that might be anoraks of Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy, or the monster that lives under the bed, are.

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