I am not religious. Being of Indian origin – that is almost as shocking as saying "I don't like cricket". In some cases it is synonymous. But I digress, as usual.
Religion plays a central role in the lives of a lot of people and I understand that. What I don’t understand is the patronising self-important smugness some people develop as certain religious holidays draw closer.
Lent has just kicked off and suddenly the previously hedonistic are showing off the guilty pleasures they have so heroically sacrificed. Most major religions in the world have a period of abstinence in their holy calendar and while this religion-fuelled detox makes sense for the truly religious – the buffet style, nouveau Religionistas are the ones that annoy me. When abstinence becomes a douchebag status symbol, it totally defeats the purpose doesn’t it? Kinda like charity. Or third world child adoptions.
There’s a South Park episode…(youbequiet. yes, I am one of *those* people who thinks of a South Park reference for everything #dealwithit)…where everyone gets hybrid cars – not to save the environment, but for pure Smug value. Religious abstinence is often the same.
Being [insert religion here] isn’t a part-time activity you indulge in for 40 days to absolve yourself of your 325 days of decadent, over-indulgence. Besides, if you are so smug about your abstinence, you’re probably doing it all wrong.
Maybe, next time religion “compels” you to give up something – you will consider giving up self-indulgent Smugness. That would be an infinitely bigger sacrifice than abstaining from wine and cheese for 40 days. Amen.