From Ask Lutz

Religion, Anyone?

Dear Lutz,

My mom says if she were to do it all over again, she would have raised me with more religion. If I were to get religion, where should I turn?

I also wanted to know, are pet monkeys legal in the state of California?




Dear Seeking,

Are you asking me to tell you what religion to pick after countless years of a godless existence? Dream on. I can’t do that for a number of reasons: a) although I am an expert on a lot of things, religion is not one of them; b) I am concerned about getting hate mail—I pick one religion for you and the others get mad; c) I am concerned about getting hate mail from your mom—she’s the one that wants you to have religion in the first place and if I pick a faith that she didn’t have in mind, she might not like that; d) religion is a very personal issue and should be decided by the individual without undue influence from others.

What I really want to know, Seeking, is why your mom wishes she raised you with more religion. I mean, is there something wrong with you? Because it sounds like your mom thinks that if you had religion in your life, somehow you might have turned out better. And I’m not saying that you didn’t turn out great or anything. I only have a letter to go by and it doesn’t give me a whole lot to work with. I think the monkey question is out of left field and perhaps a bit insincere and off topic. Other than that I’m sure you’re a peach. But from a Mom’s perspective, something didn’t go as planned. Am I making sense? Like, do you shoplift? Have you been convicted of a felony? Do you have a gambling problem (and I’m not talking about a friendly wager now and again)? Are you excessively tattooed or pierced? Do you talk with your mouth full of potato chips? Do you talk like someone in a Mamet film? Do you routinely spit on the sidewalk?

Personally, I don’t think any of the above examples are criminal, except the felony and shoplifting and I don’t like it when people talk with their mouths full or spit on the sidewalk, especially if I’m right behind them and they’re sort of spitting backwards and I have to jump out of the way. However, some parents might mistakenly assume that more order and discipline, and perhaps the fear of god, might influence their child to be a slightly more upstanding sort, if you know what I mean. But all this speculation could lead to a bunch of nonsense and it might be simpler to just ask your mom what the hell she meant with that comment. Be prepared for the response to be potentially insulting. What I’m saying, Seeking, is this: Just because your mom wishes she raised you with more religion, doesn’t mean you need religion. But if you think you need religion, then you should get some religion.

I don’t think you should get a monkey. I have been kind enough to link a picture of a monkey above and you can name it if you like. And if the picture isn’t enough for you, you can make your own sock monkey by going to the How to Make a Sock Monkey Web Page. That’s all I can do for you now. But I thank you for your fine question.

Best Wishes,


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