Religion is about weird stuff.
Or so it seems.
And so the media would have us understand.

It is about an American nutter predicting the end of the world.
It is about other nutters giving this man their money, quitting their jobs, having no backup plan…
It is not about a man caring for his neighbour after devastation, or a woman bringing up her child without much support, or a teenager making it in spite of his dysfunctional family.
Or so it seems.

It is about weeping madonnas, levitation, visions, exorcism,
about wearing a bit of cloth to avoid hell,
about saying a particular text to avoid hell.
It is not about caring for a sick partner, or being disciplined about the inner journey, or putting extra energy into work, or organising a fair to raise funds for needy people, or managing in spite of depression, or standing up against injustice at personal cost.
Or so it seems.

Religion is about oppression of women, abuse of children, exclusion of gays,
about affirming every tenet on the approved lengthy list of beliefs.
It is about wars, disagreement, put-downs, arguments, judgmentalism, and condemnation.
It is about fundamentalism, extremism, literalism, anti-intellectualism, absolute certainty, and fanaticism.
It is not about growth, or change, or doubt, or flourishing, or support, or community, or fun, or joy, or being fully human.
It is not about wonderful music, magnificent art, great sex, profound thinking, deep caring, hilarious stories, or memorable parties.
Or so it seems.

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