Sunday, November 25, 2012

Teach us to care, and not to care

I am not a religious person. I really get annoyed when people feel the need to remind me repeatedly that because I don't go to their church that I am risking my eternal soul. Look, it is nice that you care but it really isn't any of your damn business what I or my kids believe, so long as it doesn't infringe upon your personal freedoms.

The same thing goes for many of the militant atheists I know. Seriously dude, give it a rest. You can't complain about aggressive tactics of religious nutjobs when you're just as obnoxious and condescending as they are. Does it really matter if someone believes in God or not? Do they try to shove it down your throat? No? Then shut the hell up. Organized religion, in my opinion, is for people who need some kind of structure for their lives. At some point, it got out of control and became a control mechanism and excuse for some of the most evil acts ever committed by mankind.

Is your neighbor knocking on your door with a Bible at 7am on a Sunday morning while you're still hung over from last night's sins? No? Then what does it matter? Is your coworker lecturing you because your cubicle doesn't have enough pieces of Jesus flair? No? Then why care if she has a 5 different crucifixes, including the one tattooed on her arm?

As much as I detest obnoxious religious people, I get annoyed by those who think their lack of a religion makes them somehow a better person and feel the need to belittle those who believe in some deity. What's wrong with it? If they aren't hurting anybody, that's their right. I happen to have been lucky enough to run across a group called "The Christian Left" and one of their largest fan groups is...atheists. They believe in Christ but they don't use that belief to belittle, judge and harass those who do not. In fact, they are despised by the fundamentalists and Pharisees of their religion, which makes them OK in my book.

When you're fighting a common enemy, I will never understand why it is useful to split your forces based off something as trivial as whether or not you believe in some divine being that none of us have ever seen. So long as that person has your back, why does it matter? Yet, I see progressive Christians, Jews and Muslims being attacked by those who share 99% of the same views, just because of that. Being pompous and pretending you have all of the answers because you do or do not belong to a certain religious group is asinine.

I have far more respect for someone who can honestly say "I don't have all of the answers, but this is what I believe, and here is why I believe it" than someone who says "I'm right, you're wrong, and if you disagree with me, you're not my friend." Here's an example, I'm a big Saints fan. I'm a recent convert so maybe I'm a little more fervent than others but I don't judge my friends who might happen to like a team like the Vikings or the Falcons. Sure, it is kind of hard to accept that someone would root for a team that isn't as cool as the Saints, but you also have to realize people have grown up with a team and experiences that have been different than your own.

That's the best analogy I could come up with, and I think it fits. Have a nice Sunday.

P.S. Bonus points to the name of the poem, and the author, from which the title of this article comes.


  1. Great post! And for the bonus points: T.S. Eliot - Ash Wednesday

  2. Interesting reference to the Saints in a religious discussion...

  3. This is why I do my church-state separation activism with Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and not with any of the atheist groups I was formerly involved with. We have to work together to achieve our common goals. I don't care what someone believes in regards to religious faith, as long as they don't expect the government to endorse it.