I envy people that believe in God, no matter which God it is. As long as there is one God per religion, the various believers should respect each others right to individual beliefs in their version of God. It’s the same kind of faith, no matter which God is yours, you must have faith that He, She, or It is there and is listening to you. I envy the comfort that must come to those who truly believe in the higher power.
There used to be a beloved comic performer, the late Flip Wilson. One favourite character that he created was Josephine. He’d dress up in drag and use a falsetto voice. Josephine was often caught doing wrong. Her defense was, “The Devil made me do it!” It always got a laugh. It also makes me think, when a believer in God in Heaven performs a good and generous act, perhaps they should declare, “The Lord made me do it!”
In reality, the two lords are equal. The lord above doesn’t really exist, and the lord of darkness, down below, doesn’t exist. They are ancient fabrications, and there is certainly no rational reason to believe in them. Just have faith that the lord of your choice is watching. Don’t just have faith that your brakes will work. Be sure!
The Catholic believers have a good shtick: the confessional. One can step into the booth and lay out one’s perversions and dark thoughts to the guy on the other side of the screen. They believe he’s not just any guy… he’s a gifted guy. No, he is not. He’s a guy that studied to get a degree so he could be the guy on the other side of the screen. He might laugh at you when he tells the other priests what you said. He might be a liar, a thief and a pervert under cover of cloak and darkness. When he tells you some hail Mary story on how to be clean with god, he’s full of crap.
I would like to be able to get off the hook so easily, but I’m certain that the heaven and hell stories are the same baloney as the rest of the good book. I am responsible for my own actions, and I take responsibility for them. That leads me to be as good and generous a person as I can be, because in society, it’s the right thing to do. I can’t cop out by telling some misguided character in the booth about my sins. I tell myself about my sins, and I work out my own ways to make them right.