STOP RIGHT HERE. If you are a devout believer in religion, this is probably going to infuriate you. I’m ranting now over an event this evening, and I am COMPLETELY unapologetic. Skip over this unless you’re willing to debate in a logical fashion.
I WAS going to write about a time with me strapped on a roof in a typhoon to impress a certain girl … and I will get back to that story, but I just experienced a phone call from someone I respect in most things of life. He had basically accused me of poor taste based on his personal interpretation that I just attacked Christianity. I just had to answer.
I pretty much made my own statements on what I believe in my blog post, A Matter of Faith. I’ve turned away not only from Catholicism, but from ALL organized religion altogether. While I do believe that people are entitled to believe as they will and quite a few of my friends like to promote that belief, I also believe I am equally entitled to state my own personal belief, or lack of belief that is.
Today, I had posted a joke on my Facebook about religion. I found it quite funny, and did a routine share. Here it is (mind telling me where the hell it says Christianity?):
Haven’t you ever been pestered about statements of overt faith? Whether it be the person at the door with the pamphlets, the politician stating that a school shooting was because there wasn’t daily prayer in the classrooms, or the person who accuses you of being a traitor or an infidel because your belief contrasts his or hers, we’ve all been bombarded with religious statements of one way or another. Every single person who tries to push their religious beliefs into our secular institutions just drives me insane.
Nevertheless, out of respect to him, I’ve removed it from Facebook, but I will NOT be silent. I am simply furious with him for imposing his knee jerk interpretation on me. I am simply furious with MYSELF for giving in this once.
Ever since I’ve declared myself Atheist, I’ve been attacked or judged by others (well over a dozen or so) as being very much as being a member of Satan’s crew. Funny thing is that, I have a ton of Jewish and Muslim friends as well, and not a SINGLE one has ever been overtly judgmental. If anything, I’ve actually had some interesting debates about their religion and atheism, but always with mutual respect. (By the by, a lack of belief in god also means a total lack of belief in Satan as well.. so hell and all that.. why do you believe that hell scares me? If anything, I’d probably rather go there since most of the atheists also include the very best mankind has ever had to offer.)
But Christians… Christians…. Why has it always been the Christian ones who attack, without even considering other points of views out of a self-important belief that their view is, and will always be the right one. And to anyone of those who has attacked in the past, don’t you dare even begin to give me the bullshit excuse that that’s not true. Remember, at one time, I was one of you, and even more devout and fanatic than most.
So I simply put this to you…. why? If you’re content with your religion, why do you feel so threatened by my own beliefs on things based on actual proven observable fact? You don’t have to read anything I write. You know I’m not likely to blow up a building or punch you out. Just ignore me, as I try to ignore you if there’s something you choose to post that I don’t like. If you know me, I would respect your point of view in general unless it’s something deliberately promoting hatred and harm.
For the Christians for example, I personally find it totally insane to base your belief on:
– a book like the King James Bible that is an English interpretation of ancient hebraic scrolls;
– translated to an “acceptable” level for approval by the King of England;
– based on a cherry picked pile of scrolls (for example, why only those 4 books of the apostles? Why no mention of the book of Mary Magdelene?);
– that were themselves copies of scrolls written down hundred of years from the original scrolls in 400AD;
– which were written and passed on solely through oral history for the first 400 years.
That’s lunacy. Ever played the game “Broken Telephone” as a kid? Ever hear how the story changed from start to end? Now imagine that with over 100,000 people in the middle of the line!
Hell, those same people who are so certain that there are no morals unless there is one based in religion, I counter that if the only thing keeping Christians, Jews and Muslims from turning into serial killers and arsonists is a belief of a being created by pre-Bronze age people trying to explain why it rains, non-believers has far more to be afraid of Christians, Jews and Muslims.
Yes I attack religion as a whole, and very often the Catholic Church, but never once out of context. If Rabbis or Imams were going around raping children world-wide, I would have GLADLY done the same with the same strength of conviction. I refuse to have anything to do with any organization whose leadership voted in a Nazi to lead them, and openly condoned and protected thousands of child and women rapists world-wide over decades. I refuse to be a part of a religion that subjugate and strikes down women, because a bunch of guys decided to, despite that their own savior had never put such a restriction (such as in the case of Mary Magdalene). Don’t even get me started on the Vatican attack on nuns on the front line, who are actually doing “God’s” work by feeding and helping the homeless, instead of say picketing over birth control. I am truly ashamed of ever being a Catholic, and had long formally demanded to be removed from all rolls in the Vatican, Calgary and Montreal. And in fact, I state this here and now, I do NOT now, or EVER want to be buried or interred in Catholic or Christian grounds.
But I also reject the barbaric actions of the Muslim faith interpreted by conservative extremists. Is lopping off the hands of thieves because supposedly their own god told them to be the right thing? Jihad is supposed to be a revolution of the mind and spirit to a belief of love, and instead has been re-interpreted by men to mean violent struggle and massacres.
I’ve attacked religion as I believe in logic and simple compassion for your fellow man far more. For example, why isn’t giving your time or money or whatever because it’s simply the right thing to do is actually not the right thing, but it is right if it’s based on religious reasons out of fear for hell? It strikes me as dead wrong. That belittles all of us as little more than blackmailed children, and I’m not alone in that line of thought.
Those who declare themselves to be religious dropped to 60% in North America. Those who declare themselves to be atheist, agnostic or humanist has risen to 16% of the population. The numbers in many countries in Europe have plummeted to single digits for those declared religious. I find this to be hopeful, as I personally see this as a maturing of society. We are socially still so much to be a people not unlike children, who needed the spectre of a deity saying no-no or else you go to hell. Now we’re slowly changing to be a people who realize that they should say no-no simply because it is the right thing.
So really in the end, it comes down to this. I removed the so-called offensive post on Facebook, but only due to the nature of my relationship with this person. But I learned long ago the saying, all it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to remain silent, is correct. This applies to protest. It applies to life. And it very much applies to culture… because where would we be if we stopped everything we found offensive based on our religious beliefs. Everyone finds one thing or another thing offensive, but if you want to dispute something I’ve said or done, do it because there’s a valid reason or argument. If you want me to respect your belief, give me a reason that makes sense.
That’s enough of a rant for today. Back to something normal tomorrow.