The old saying, "idle hands are the devil's workshop" may not appear per se in the Christian Bible, but its roots appear to be there.
Idly, and without rancor, I wonder this morning if religion is not a rich (wo)man's sport, a way of addressing the vagaries of life and, coincidentally, finding a goldmine of adherents.
Money provides time in which to ponder and conjecture and weave a tale. As soon as the well-heeled open a mouth, those without money and education and perhaps handcuffed to a less-well-heeled station in life recognize their own need for explanation and understanding. And it's not just the irritation of the humanists we're talking about. Vagaries and change touch one and all.
Open a mouth and religion appears not so much for the thrall of it all but because "idle hands are the devil's workshop." If you have nothing better to do, well, how about religion? The well-to-do with their fuller stomachs have time and capacity to fashion a more 'know-able' world. Tell me a good story and I'm all ears,
The springboard for all this half-baked thinking was a picture I was sent of a man, Ben Higgins
(1894-1981), who lived up in the hills around here -- in Chesterfield. My stepmother's longtime live-with, Bill Samaha, sent the picture along. Bill is a longtime antiques dealer who knows what makes and made quality items -- baskets like Ben Higgins'. "None of the kids care about the guy," Bill told me. But Bill cared. He cared for the old ways of making baskets. Higgins made his first basket when he was five, if Google is to be believed. Whether Ben Higgins believed in some god, I have no clue. But his hands, if I gauge correctly, were never idle. Life is mysterious enough without adding to the mystery. So Ben kept his tools in good repair and made baskets in ways that kids don't much care about, perhaps. Baskets take time; they take patience; they take skill; and perhaps, in an idle moment, they take God ... or not: Dealer's choice.
The photo Samaha sent along was -- according to Samaha -- by a snazzy west coast photographer I never heard of (C% Marceo Julin --- can't read it) who, like other photogs, took pictures of celebrities among others ... anyway I think it's the guy.) .... someone who probably kept his professional tools clean as well