Friday, September 24

Religion -- Good or Bad?

As promised, today I am going to go further in depth about my views about religion. You may wonder, "Why is this relevant? Why do I care about this topic?" To be honest, I don't know the answer. If you're not religious, you probably don't really care about it. Personally, I have a general disdain for religion -- I've been an atheist all my life, so I simply can't understand its logic. That being said, I do have respect for it; it gives people hope and it gives them something to believe in. I also agree that people have a right to believe in whatever they want to, and that no one should ridicule them for their ideas. My problem with religion is this: it is often used as an excuse to commit acts against humanity. So many horrors are brought about in the name of this god or that, and therein lies the root of my grudge against religion. That grudge also extends to the groups who believe that they need to impose their views on others. Several days ago, I watched the movie Jesus Camp and it really just solidified my opinions. There are hate mongers in all religions. What I mean when I say that is this: all too often in the news, you hear about the extremist Muslims and terrorists etc. But what the news very rarely tells you about is the radical Christian groups in the South who believe that the new generation, my generation, will be the one that will witness the second coming of Christ.

Isn't this alarming to anyone else? In effect they're saying is that within 80 years, Armageddon will come and everyone will be judged for his sins. If you don't believe in the Christian god, you are going to burn in hell for eternity. Doesn't this raise any red flags?! In an age when it seems like everything is crumbling -- the banks are collapsing, jobs are running overseas -- is it the best idea to be running around preaching that the world is going to end on a final day of fiery judgment? That's just another way to cause more hysteria and chaos. If you read my earlier "blurb" about religion, you know I think that, if things continue on their current path, the end of the world will not be caused by some divine being coming back down to earth; it will come as a result of a final war of the religions, probably a Jihad. Who will strike first? I don't know, but in the end it's going to be ugly. The fundamental problem with religion is that it often calls on its supporters to disrespect -- or in some cases even hate -- the members of all the other religions (at least in many of the extremist radical groups). It is in some ways one of the most egotistical practices one could partake in -- you're right, your religion's right, and all others are misguided heathens. This condescending attitude has caused so many wars and conflicts -- from the crusades (though that was also a political move by the Catholic church) to the terrorist attacks on 9/11. How can a decent, modern, forward-thinking society allow itself to be instilled with hate in the name of religion? And here I'm not talking about 9/11 -- I'm talking about the religious hate groups that reside all over this country and that cloak themselves in "free speech," all while they endorse hatred against gays, minorities, Muslims, etcetera  (basically everyone who isn't them). This is WRONG! Something needs to be done about these groups, but no politicians will go near the issue because they're afraid of either losing the support of middle America, or coming off bigoted themselves. This brings me to my final point.

Religion has no place in politics. Period. Point finale. End of story. No legislation that is influence by religion should be passed and no politician should openly support any church. It is wrong; the founding fathers knew that as soon as government and religion got intertwined, things would fall to pieces. The separation of church and state is meant to protect the churches from government control and meddling, but it is also meant to prevent the church from going in and creating a theocracy. We cannot have laws and regulations being passed that are directly linked to religion. Now you may be thinking, "Oh Sam, government isn't that affected by religion. There are very few laws or proposed laws that are influenced by religion." To that I will simply provide a list: don't ask don't tell, ban on gay marriage, abortion policy, "blue laws" in the south, creationism in schools... the list goes on and on. Here's my radical, crazy idea: let's remove religion from our governmental system. That is the only way to maintain the integrity this country was founded on. The separation of church and state is one of the most important principles in our society. It's as important as free speech and the right to say that 2 + 2 = 4. It's so important that almost all other industrialized countries have copied us and implemented the separation of church and state. It's crucial that we now stick by this standard and fight against religion as it slowly starts to wrap its tentacles around our government. Not violently, not angrily, but instead through discussion and reasoning. That's the only way. It is so important that we stick to these principles set forth by our founders 200 years ago. And to give you an idea of how serious this is: as of today, Texas is considering a ban on "pro-Islam, anti-Christian" textbooks. Who decides what is "pro-Islam?" The governmental body of course. It is blatant censorship in the name of religion! It must end. I can not stress enough how important it is that we maintain the separation of church and state.

And with that, I shall leave you with a quote from Boston Legal: "If you are religious, for God's sake, keep it to yourselves." That's exactly my point -- I actually wouldn't care about religion at all if it just kept to itself, if it agreed to not worm its way into government, and if it refrained from hate mongering and the promotion of the idea that the world is going to end before we reach the year 2100. Those three things are all I ask. Are they really so unreasonable?

1 comment:

  1. ***This is WRONG! Something needs to be done about these groups***

    For Christian, hopefully in the day of Rapture, Christ will take them all with him, and leave us non-believers along and behind on this earth, let us take care of reality with practicality and spirituality (different from being religious). As for other religions, I sure hope they have something similar to Rapture.

    Religions were evolved from spirituality and superstition. But for ambitious people, they understand religion is the greatest brain wash tool. Religious commandments are nothing but common sense, then they add those crazy eschatology to create fear and gain controls from the day a baby was born, how much more powerful can it get?