I meet a lot of atheists and one thing that bothers me is when a fellow nonbeliever tells me that while they don’t need religion, they understand that some people do need religion. They see religion as a crutch and claim that some people need that crutch in order to function in the world. As a result, they tend to be less outspoken in their criticisms of religion.
It bothers me that these fellow nonbelievers while trying to be tolerant of religious believers are actually acting almost as arrogant as religious believers… okay, maybe not almost. Most religious believers are pretty arrogant after all. Still, the implication here is that this person is better than those religious people who “need” religion. The religious people apparently can’t handle reality and therefore need the crutch of God and/or religion.
I disagree. I don’t think religious believers need religion as a crutch. I think they may use religion as a crutch, but they don’t need it. They can walk through life just fine without religion; they just don’t realize it. They think their legs are broken so to speak and they think the crutch of God allows them to walk. But they haven’t actually tried walking without their crutches. Instead, religion as an institution has swindled them into thinking that they can’t walk and that only religion can help them get around. So they put money in the collection plate, “donate” to the church, and live their lives hobbling along as if they were crippled.
No one needs religion. At any time, they can choose to toss those crutches aside and walk away. They can even choose to run if they like. Religion doesn’t help anyone. It restricts their freedom. Religion just tricks people into thinking that they are dependent on God and the church. Religion isn’t a crutch, it’s a scam. The problem is that the religious leaders, the people doing the scamming, aren’t actually in on the scam. They have been scammed too, and they are scamming others without realizing that they are doing it.
Whatever problem you think you need religion for you can get over with the help of friends, family, and self-determination. Trading one addiction for another is not the answer. Throw away your crutch and try to walk. If you fall down, get back up and try again.