Religions are interesting and divisive things.
Its funny, for example, how we generally refer to it in the singular. I mean there are thousands of them, a recognised 4,300* to be precise. Dependant on the time in human history; who ruled; the location in the world; religions have come and gone or stayed and evolved. Changing or dying to meet new conformity to scientific explanation debunking some of their teaching or changes in their social practices. Even in todays world, new religions and religious pracices are created by ‘man’ and gain followers and devout believers. It’s not just the belief in a god or collection of gods that consciously rule over and decide which prayers to grant or not that baffle me. It’s the social practices and behaviours that run alongside each religion. What is OK to eat; how its ok to dress; how demonstative one need to be to the chosen god(s); what offerings one has to give; who its OK to denounce or control; who, how and which people should be punished (or killed).
I am neither a believer in any one of these many many many old , changed or new religions; nor am I a learned theologian; my views here are merely observational.
I’m an freethinker and an atheist (I am comfortable and confident in my view that there is no divine creator or interferer in my life and, or afterlife). Religion(s) baffles and confound(s) me; the blind and selective following of man-written (man-altered, man-interpreted) religious text frightens me. I am a devout atheist. I don’t hate your god(s). I can’t, because as far as I am concerned they don’t exist. I may, however, hate, dislike, disapprove or otherwise reject your practices acted out as a result of your belief in your god(s).
I am a humanist, if it needs a label. I believe in the inherent good of people and living a moral purposeful life; of respecting nature and our planet and all those of all species, nationalities, colours, sexual orientations and age. I don’t need a god or collection of gods nor a list of rules fuelled in frightening retribution, to ensure I am kind, thoughtful and good. I don’t need to fear or look forward to an afterlife to enable me to appreciaite and value the one life I have on this wonderful planet. I know I came from the earth and will go back to the earth. I know that my body will decay and feed the earth. It will grow new plants, feed new life and live on in the continuation of this planet (if we don’t continue to fuck it up..but thats a different blog for a different day).
I find it interesting however that those who do follow a faith do not seem to notice or acknowledge that their faith and the faith of those around them is predominantly as a result of where and in which community they were born. For example a child raised in a Catholic household is unlikely to grow up being Sikh or Jewish…. or Zoroastrianism…
….And why is one religion so frightened that another religion might take over and become more prevalent than their own? Why will one religion fight for its supremacy over another?
I find it laughable that the religous text that a group follow, (how can i say it, well, religiously!), can be changed by man, selectively, to be seen as more favourable to modern convention or general social acceptance.
I find it sad that in a world of great suffering and poverty that the churches and religious institutions holds onto so much wealth.
I find it depressing that most religions are the practice of control by the fear of some form of retribution or some promise of salvation in a life outside of this. It implies that fear or treats are the only reason that individuals will act with a good conscience and respect and care for those around them.
I find it tragic that many many many religions seek to control, belittle or cast out groups of other people – due to their place of birth, colour, sex or sexual orientation.
And I find it baffling that religious groups and religious leaders and followers selectively attribute good fortune to their respective god. I’ll use the usual arguments :
- praying for the recovery of a child with cancer- if the child recovers it is proof, if the child dies it is gods will or the child is too good to be in this world. No question of why the child had cancer in the first place.
- a tsunami strikes, 1999 people die, 1 lives. God is praised for the life saved
There are millions of these, but I’m boring myself now. However the most recent one that gets me is the one that claims God made Trump President. Surely if God made Trump President then he also made Obama President and all those before him. Or is it one of those situations where the religious zealots selectively switch between, ‘its God’s will’ or ‘its free will and the sins of man’ depending on their preference?!
I can’t believe in this day and age people, including people I know personally, are saying these things.
What I find really intriguing is how threatened religious people feel by atheists. Surely, as long as they do their thing in line with their set of rules ( which may include trying to get me to buy into their way of thinking) then they shall spend their next life with their 21 virgins; or in an eternal pradise; or reborn in a higher status or a fitter body or whatever floats their boat. Why is it when a religious person says, ” I can’t believe you don’t believe. I feel sorry for you..” they practically spit the words ‘I feel sorry for you’ from their mouth with what feels like repulsion and panic. I mean, so what? I’ll go to their hell, live on in perpetual pain and anguish. They’ve done their bit. They really really don’t need to worry about me.
Honestly they don’t. I’ll be more than happy feeding a rose bush; growing a tree and coloring my patch of earth with spring bulbs; filling the summer air with the glorous scent of summer flowers; attracting the butterflies and bees; who’ll make the honey and feed the animals ; who’ll feed the next generations of children and their childrens childrens children. Let that be my legacy and let my kind actions in my living moment live on in the memories of my friends and family to come.