How is Religion Like a Compass?

"Religion Compass" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Religion Compass” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward


I do not hate religion. I do not think it should be banned. Besides, that would be impossible. At least privately. And probably socially. People have an amazing capacity to achieve their desires, exercise their autonomy, and fight for their lives and freedoms even under severe persecution.

Personally, I am thankful for religion. Christianity first of all because that’s my religion of origin. But also other religions that have helped me find myself, taken me deeper, enabled me to feel at one with all things, and empowered me to become the person I am.

Did it mess me up sometimes? Yes. But paradoxically it also provided tools to undo that mess.

Because isn’t that the goal… good people, not a homogenous collective of observers?

But I really believe it has helped me to be a good, and I hope a more compassionate person. I’m thankful for that.

Get a print of this cartoon HERE.



You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. Sabio Lantz says:

    Hey David.
    Christianity was not a compass for me, but instead, a Life Ring. (I wrote a post just now to quickly tell that story. And, I am sorry to be a bit critical, but I see the “Religion as a Compass” analogy as having lots of problems.

    We know that people do very well morally and emotionally without religion, so what is the needle in your compass analogy pointing to? Anything “compass” function served by religion, we can see being easily served by non-religion methods also. It is a tool, of course, but like any tools, it can be helpful or harmful — whereas compasses are always helpful. Though people often use religion helpfully, for many it is harm from the beginning. Compasses don’t harm. And religion is not a compass leading somewhere. Unfortunately it seems that harm is almost inevitable with the religion tool. But I do get the Life Ring analogy, or the Security Blanket Analogy or others, perhaps.

    So I though disagree with your cartoon and the fake Jesus who you make saying things you like, I nonetheless, have similar thoughts on your other written points:

    1. I also don’t hate religion by any means. But then, we’d have to define “religion”.

    2. I definitely don’t think it should be banned, and would be impossible and foolish to try and get rid of it.

    3. I do think governments should stay totally out of promoting, reinforcing or encouraging religion.

    4. Christianity was also my “religion of origin”, but Republicanism was also my politics of origin. And I embrace neither now. Neither give me warm fuzzy feelings. Family-of-origin, Religion-of-Origin, Politics-of-Origin, Sex-of-Origin, Country-of-Origin: We should be free to think if we owe any allegiance to accidents of birth.

    5. Like you, other religions have helped me “find myself” or at least unveil my stupidity. See my post on How Hinduism Saved Me!

    Well, I hope those reactions were interesting or useful but I am sure they did not act as a compass! (smiling)

  2. Brigitte says:

    Sam Harris podcast promoted on my FB.

    Sabio, and David, what happened to the potential discussion on forgiveness that was almost started a couple of days ago? Would your religion be something that promotes reconciliation in various levels of society?

  3. I believe in reconciliation. Sure. Does this need Divine oversight? Not so sure.

  4. Linda Akers says:

    When the Lord is your Shepard, He will lead you in the path of righteousness, for His name’s sake. You will not need a worldly device like a compass, or a vain babbler, who God has turned over to his reprobate mind.