How Religion Can Comfort You

Go figure, but over the years I’ve been an avid listener of super conservative and religious radio talk shows. I have focused on two radio hosts in particular in the last 15 years, local boys, one black, one white, both extremely right wing to the point of caricature.

I’m not sure why I do this. I think it has something to do with comfort. But what?

Years ago (and I mean YEARS ago) my family and I (my mom, my brother and I) listened to the Reverent Carl McIntire as he ranted and raved about achieving victory in Viet Nam. We would listen and laugh at his frothing, perhaps for some of the same reasons I listen to these two local boys. Although what those reasons are I haven’t a clue. Not really. Not yet. That’s why I’m writing this.

As I say, I think it has something to do with comfort, and here I mean comfort in the sense of something that lowers your heart rate and helps you fall asleep, like embalming to a certain degree. It takes me out of myself. So… What is the thing OF me that this TAKES ME OUT… OF. I think it’s self-doubt. I think am a fount of self-doubt and listening to these wackos takes me out of that. Why?

I think it is that there is something terribly comforting in the simplicity of their world view. And when I say terribly I mean terribly. My parents fought and conflicted throughout my life leaving a scare. My world view has been forever complicated by this.

Mr. Evangelical, whom I listen to almost every night now has a simple answer: Believe the earth is 6,000 years old and be afraid of God. Okay. Be afraid of God because he’ll send you to hell. Hell. The place of eternal torture. Now I can imagine that all too well. I’ve been there, or rather the place in your head that makes you conjure it.

So I get the fear but I know the fear has a rational cause. And when I listen to these guys I guess in a weird way I’m reminded of that. I think that ultimately comforts me.


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