The coronavirus outbreak reveals the value of faith communities in assisting people during times of crisis, said radio host Dennis Prager, author of The Rational Bible: Genesis and founder of PragerU. He joined Wednesday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow to discuss religious beliefs amid adversity.
Shortcomings in secular and unmarried life may be revealed during the coronavirus pandemic, estimated Prager.
“I think that people will realize that there’s been a certain foolishness in thinking that a godless and religionless life is is rich,” said Prager. “It isn’t, and it’s crises that make that clear.”
Secular people lack a “built-in community” relative to the faithful, added Prager.
Understanding the value of companionship in a loving marriage becomes more widespread in difficult times, Prager remarked.
“The other thing that I think is going to come out of this is I think that all these young people in America who have a cavalier attitude toward marriage … may realize that being alone with my CEO status or my Yale PhD isn’t quite as good as being with somebody that I might love and who loves me,” Prager determined.
Marlow asked, “Has the absence of faith left us more vulnerable at this moment? Because I can’t help but feel that it has.” An “absence of faith” leaves people less prepared to confront suffering, he added.
“Of course we’re better prepared,” replied Prager, describing religious practice as preparation to deal with suffering. “Who’s better prepared if a ship sinks — people who have been practicing swimming their whole life or people who don’t know how to swim? The religious know how to swim when there’s bad stuff.”
Prager described part of his mission as helping people “understand why God is important.” He said, “I never try to convince people about God’s existence. I only try to convince people of God’s necessity. That’s far more important to me.”
“I don’t believe that that God will protect me from COVID-19 more than a secular guy,” Prager stated. “I do not believe that, so I just want to make that clear, however, that doesn’t mean you don’t call on God. ‘God is my shepherd. I shall not want.’ It doesn’t mean God is going to save me and not my secular neighbor. I don’t believe that.”
Prager continued, “I am absolutely convinced that a subtext here is that secular people fear death more. And we don’t want to die any more than anyone. I love life. I love my family and friends. I love everything I do. I’m crazy about life, but I don’t fear death. I believe there’s an afterlife. I don’t think this is all there is. Clearly, if you think this is all there is then you will fear losing it more than the guy who thinks this isn’t all there is.”
Marlow asked about reconciling worldly suffering with belief in God. “Why does God allow this to happen, and how would you describe it to people who do feel like they’ve been abandoned in times like this?”
Prager responded, “This is the oldest question. The book of Job is entirely about this. First of all, religious people are are not only allowed — but expected — to ask God, ‘Why do you seem like you’ve abandoned me?’ For a Christian, Christ on the cross’s last words are, ‘Why have you abandoned me?’”
Struggling with God is a biblical theme and “completely in keeping with being a religious person,” noted Prager. “The first monotheist, the first Jew, Abraham, argues with God,” he said. “The name Israel means argue with God.”
Prager went on, “God does not abandon us. Just because God doesn’t save us doesn’t mean he’s abandoned us. If God saved everyone in hardship, then belief would be idiocy. It would be nonsense. Of course people would believe. It’s like a celestial butler, ‘God, I have a trouble here, okay?’”
“Two hundred and fifty thousand Americans a year die from errors in hospitals, 250,000,” Prager remarked. “We’re not close … so I personally am more worried about the shutdown of the society than I am of COVID-19.”
A virtual seder will be available via PragerU on Wednesday beginning at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
Breitbart News Daily broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.
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