Religion Should Be Like Dog Training

I was listening to Bette Midler’s song “From A Distance” which looks at wars and hunger from a larger perspective. The song seems to ask, “Why can’t we all just get along and help each other?”

Bette Midler’s song really got me thinking. We’d been watching all of the Doomsday shows on TV leading up to the End of the World in 2012. Nostradamus, the Bible, the Mayans, Edgar Cayce and so many others all predicting doom and gloom and the end of life as we know it.

One of the shows talked about the return of Jesus, who will come this time as a roaring lion and not the loving lamb of 2000 years ago. Jesus will return with fire in his eyes, angered by the sins of mankind. We’ve heard this over and over but does anyone think about what the prophecy really means?

Over 2000 years ago the Bible predicted our failure as human beings, stating that we would be punished or judged for a variety of sins when Jesus returns and I realized there was a major flaw in this premise.

Originally Jesus came and taught us how to succeed as human beings. Jesus said to love and respect one another, that all things are possible if you believe you can do it, and that teaching a man how to succeed is better than giving him the fruits of your success. Moses taught us that the definition of loving and respecting one another means not to murder, steal, cheat, lie, or otherwise do anything to others that you wouldn’t want them to do to you.

Back in the day people presumably honored those teachings. Even just a few decades ago people didn’t lock their doors or worry about sending their kids out alone on Halloween. Today we’re doing a terrible job of it. The news is plastered with murders, rapes, thieves, scammers, liars, hatred, wars, and all manner of doing harm to others. We are living the ME generation in all its ugly glory and we are so ripe for the wrath of God to come hammering down upon our heads.

But why? Our downfall was predicted over 2000 years ago. The Big Man Upstairs already knew we were going to fail. It was written all around the world, by various peoples in various texts, and I realized that there was something very wrong with the picture being painted for us.

You do not teach something in one short lesson and then forget about it. Nobody is going to remember that lesson forever. The very nature of our human brains is such that we need reinforcement for anything we learn. It’s a lot like training a dog, no matter what you are trying to teach your dog it needs to be reinforced for their lifetime or they will happily forget the training and go off to explore the trash can, dig in the yard, and laugh at you when you tell them what to do.

Jesus, Moses, Buddha and the like all came thousands of years ago to teach for a moment and then left us to our own devices. That virtually guaranteed our failure. Maybe they believed that substitute teachers could fill in the gap for two millenia. It seems to me that if you see your prodegy starting to fail, you’d step in and reinforce the teaching.

Jesus should have made regular visits every couple hundred years or so to check up on us and keep his teachings alive, maybe updating the lingo in keeping with the times to ensure no misinterpretation. If his substitute teachers weren’t doing a good job of it, being the priests, ministers, and so forth, he should have stepped in to put us back on the right path. Hell, we can’t even agree on the exact meaning of some of the biblical teachings let alone honor them. Sounds like the perfect opportunity for a refresher course to me.

If I tell my dog to SIT and she dances and prances and does everything but put her bottom squarely on the ground, it is my job as her teacher to reinforce the command SIT. It doesn’t matter if she is 6 months old or 5 years old, disobeying a command means back to the classroom for her. Good dogs come from a lifetime of reinforcement in their dog training. You don’t just take your dog to a 6-week obedience class and then forget about it.

Humanity is no different. Long before Judgement Day there should have been refresher courses. The Final Judgement is like abandoning your dog to the dog pound for disobedience when the trouble was with the teacher taking too long a break. Maybe we’d all have been good dogs had the various teachers not abandoned us thousands of years ago.

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