Religion is always something tricky to talk about. Before you know it (and without meaning so), you insult people or making them angry. Misunderstandings are easy to take place.
And yet I will write about religion in this article. This because I notice lately much confusion with people around me about how I think about religion and as said, it has lead to misunderstandings.
Let me first explain my person views on religion… Well, those are simple: I don’t believe in gods or any kind of mystical powers. I am convinced that anything we don’t understand now (and often are related to gods or mystical powers) can be explained in time by pure science. Nothing more then that.
So yes, I am convinced that there is no after-life. This life we have here and now is all we have and we better make the best of it.
Some will say that this makes life poor and meaningless. I don’t agree. In my opinion it gives life a lot more value, because it makes you fully responsible for your life. No gods or goddess to hide behind. It is you and only you. And yes, “complete free will” is also a direct result from this.
Now the tricky question: Do I hate religion? Ermm no, not at all. As long a religion keeps to their own group, don’t enforce their believes and opinions upon others… and have the respect for others that have chosen another way of living, even when it is not according their own views… that nobody gets hurt in whatever way… If that is the case, I don’t have any problems with a person or groups religion and believes.
Sadly there is it where often goes wrong.
Having said that, I also think that a certain group of atheists may show more respect and understanding towards those that have chosen to believe.
And yes, I will show often that I am atheist. Use quotations that show why I am an atheist. Explain the things that makes me an atheist. But this is not, as so often is misunderstood, to convince anyone at all. See it more as to make my point in a world that is flooded by all kind religions and the influences that these religions have on every day live.
And sure, I love to show the contradictions that religion and their followers often display. As example claiming that homosexuality is evil because the bible says so, while having a tattoo and eating pork (which are also not allowed according the bible).
Or more literal contradictions as: “God gives freely to those who ask” (James 1:5/ Luke 11:10) and “God withholds his blessings and prevents men from receiving them” (John 12:40/ Josh 11:20/ Is 63:17). Or “God tempts men” (Gen 22:1/ 2 Sam 24:1/ Jer 20:7/ Matt 6:13) and “God tempts no man” (James 1:13). And these are just two examples out of a very long list. Pretty inconsistent for such a “holy” book, if you ask me.
But as said, I have no problems with religions at all, when they respect that others can be different and will their live in their own way.
And yet just one look at the news on TV and you will see that everyday there are people killing each other because of religion (and of course every religion claims to be one of peace, compassion and empathy… duh).
And yes, to the extremes and fanatics of religion I will react. And sadly there are many of extreme actions and reactions “in the name of religion”. Sadly also of this too many examples.
As the Russian bishop claiming that paedophilia is mainly caused by divorced parents. The Catholic church should know better by now!
Or Richard Murdock (American christian, politician) who claims that pregnancy caused by rape, then it was something that god intended to happen. Such a nice god that has rape as intended to happen. Even if I would believe in gods, with such a god I don’t want have to do anything.
Kevin Swanson (American radio paster) who claims “The Nazi party had their birth in a homosexual bar in the 1910’s, 1920’s. Just keep that in mind, keep that in mind”. This delusional person should have a look at history before things that are completely wrong.
And so I could continue for hours… without exaggeration.
Then we don’t even touched the subject of the hate that so many religions seems to have against homosexuality. And as this concerns some very good friends of mine, I react often on it. It makes me angry and sad that these religions cannot handle something that is so normal by nature. That some even murder for it. And even more that want to ban homosexuals for society or want “to cure them”.
But it is not only homosexuality, but also some matters as abortion and women’s rights that are handled so wrong by religion in my opinion.
First of all a woman herself has the first right to decide about an abortion. Law, health and such are also of influence in my opinion… but religion should stay away from it, specially when it concerns someone that doesn’t follow that religion.
And yes, men and women are different. I won’t deny that. Maybe they even differ is quite some ways, but not when it comes down to rights. Man and woman should have equal rights. I say “should have”, because that is sadly still not the case (and not only within religions).
And so there are more things where I complete disagree with how some things are arranged within certain religions.
My strongest weapon when it comes down to religion? Humour! And they make it so easy to use it…
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