Well just one sheeple to be exact, and that would be me.
I first heard the term sheeple a while back in reference to religion. Sheeple being people who blindly follow something.
I will honestly and openly admit that I was a sheeple for approximately 4 1/2 years of my life. That is, I attended church quite regularly during that time.
When I was 12 I was "saved" by Christ. When I was 14 I was again "saved" by Christ. Both times I openly talked (and yes, cried a little) about how I couldn't remember my life without God. And that I now knew what it meant to be truly happy. Oh and what a horrible person I was before I let Jesus into my heart.
You know, the typical stuff.
Looking back on those occasions, I truly had no idea what I was doing. By this I mean, I said those things and thought I felt those things (the key word being thought) but I didn't truly feel those things, even though at the time I thought I did.
The more I've thought about this, the more I've come to realize that churches have quite a power over people.
I know that people who are atheist or non-religious have a hard time understanding people who blindly follow a religion.
But coming from the religious side over to where I am now, I understand completely.
Churches find a way to draw you in, with say, fun events and the like. They make it "non-religious" type activities and so people don't feel like they are being preached to. The church people running the events are extremely pleasant and helpful and make you feel like you belong and that they're your friend.
Then you continue to come to events and eventually start attending church a few times a week. If you listen to them talking, you start learning the "word of God" and if you stay in the church long enough, they have you right where they want you and can pretty much get you to believe anything.
I can honestly say this is how I ended up at Sunday morning sermon, Sunday morning youth group, Sunday morning small groups, teaching Sunday school, singing in the church choir, teaching Wednesday night groups, being a camp counselor for church youth, teaching Vacation Bible School, pretty much the whole works. And yes I was at church approximately 3 times a week, sometimes more.
Because I have lived it (and have preached to others in my youth), I have a deep understanding of people who get involved in religion and then end up wondering what happened when the church screws them over or something bad happens.
Churches are schooled in the ways of getting people to follow them.
Tonight I listened to a vlog of a local pastor, more out of curiosity because half my community (ok it feels like half) attends this church.
The pastor was talking about his recent diagnosis with an illness and he then said (and I am quoting but it isn't a direct quote per say), "Yes I have an illness. God will choose whether he wants to heal me or not. If he does, that's fabulous. If not, I won't lose my faith in him."
I literally chuckled out loud at this. Because I could pray to my toilet to heal me. It may or may not. If it does, great. If it doesn't, then I won't lose my faith in it. Same as any other "thing" we want to have heal us.
And while I'm at it, I don't think people of faith are stupid or less intelligent than I am. I've met very intelligent people who are religious.
I think that those of us who choose not to be religious are just wired differently, that's all.