Monday, April 18, 2016

Does He Go Home Or Does He Pray?

I picture the last man (or woman - this is a gender-neutral article) who believes in a particular religion.

It could be any religion, well-known or not. I am not picking on any religion and in fact to set the scene I am widening the meaning of religion to take in anything that demands adherance.

For example, it could be a young man in a city who is part of a gang.

And now picture this scenario: All the other gang members are bumped off in a showdown with a rival gang. In fact, all the members of both gangs are killed in that final bloody shootout - except for our guy.

So now the last, lone gang member is without a gang. There is not gang to which he can attach himself. What does he do? What does he do with the gang paraphernalia that he has been wearing to show he is a member of the gang? Is it meaningless now?

Does he go on doing ritual things that the gang members did, like the way he greets friends?

Widen This Picture

OK. you get the idea. There is something faintly ridiculous about this man showing faith to something that no longer exists.

And the notion of him being ridiculous works even when the gang exists.

When the man is taken out of his surroundings and comes up against the hard edge of a different reality, we see how deep his sense of self runs.

There have been several films and more than a couple of reality shows that explore this.

Back To Classic Religions

But I am interested in the man who is the last of his religion. And here I mean religion in the classical sense of having a relationship with a transcendent being.

After all, there may be a God but who is to say that he/she/it is the Hindu God, or the Jewish God, or the Christian God, or the Muslim God, or … etc.

So when all but the last adherent of a faith has died, what does the last man do? Does he say - 'Forget this for a game of marbles; I'm going home' or does he pray?

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