After-Life Insurance

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2012-12-07 – Continuing with my project to read the New Testament . . . I’m nearing the end of John.

So far, the Jesus character resembles a kind of travelling insurance agent. You probably need to have spent 15 years in insurance education, like I have, to see this. But think about it! Health insurance (all the curing episodes). And then there’s long-term care insurance. I mean really long-term care insurance (the promise of eternal life).

Now, I’m trying to grab your attention here, because this is not a joke. What is it in the human spirit that would make religion and insurance alike?

It’s the promise of security. If you believe the promise given by the insurance company, you pay the premium—dollars in the case of insurance, faith and good works in the case of religion.

I can only speak about insurance. Car insurance doesn’t prevent the accident. It doesn’t prevent injury. But it does prevent the insult to your pocketbook that results from accidents and injury. Health insurance does a slightly better job. Preventative medicine can prevent you from being sick. But once you are sick, it’s like car insurance. You feel lousy, but you don’t have to go broke. Life insurance does nothing to raise you from the dead, but it might soothe your heirs—or at least protect them from a life of poverty.

Religion seems to cover these exclusions in the standard life insurance policy. Some people believe that. I don’t.

But I do understand the fear and insecurity.

Buddhism has different risk-management techniques. And, in fact, Matthew 6:26 makes unconscious reference to this: “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?”

I know (or believe) that this is Buddhist, but who knows. Maybe I’ll read about Buddhism next. In the meantime, it’s not likely that I will be sowing, reaping, or gathering in barns any time soon. But I assure you that I will spend many hours worrying. Whether it benefits me or not.

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