Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Got Religion? Great. Get It Out of My Face.
Greg Epstein is the humanist chaplain at Harvard University and the author of the New York Times bestseller “Good Without God.” In the introduction, he wrote: “This is not a book about whether one can be good without God, because that question does not need to be answered -- it needs to be rejected outright. To suggest that one can’t be good without belief in God is not just an opinion, a mere curious musing -- it is a prejudice.”
It's also complete crap.
I often say that people I have known that claim to be the most Christian -- "I go to church every Sunday, I've read the bible five times, I lead the prayer group, blah blah blah" -- are usually the least Christian in their actions. It's the ultimate in hypocrisy. These are the same people who are quick to quote the bible to prove their point, but they really dislike it when you either point out how they're using the scripture wrong or how they are completely misunderstanding it. These people will stab you in the back in a New York minute, they'll gossip about anyone and everyone whenever they get the chance, they're rude to customer service workers whenever anything doesn't go their way, you get the point. But try to argue your opinion, and they're the first to say, "But the bible says!!!"
I don't dislike religion. What I dislike is people who think that what they believe is what everyone around them should believe. Or in reality, what the whole world should believe. Take those who do missionary work, for example. If you're going to impoverished countries to actually help people, I think that is beyond commendable and I actually wish I had the opportunity to do that also. But if you're going there because you think that these impoverished people would be so much better off if they subscribed to your beliefs, that's just a kind of hubris I can't even wrap my head around. What's wrong with what they believe? Why is what you believe right, or so much better? What if THEY'RE right and you're wrong?
Let's go back to the "civilization" of America. Funny term, that. We teach in history class that the first colonists were the ones to start civilizing the country. In my opinion, the country was already more civilized by the natives that were already here. You had people who respected the land, using only what was needed, took care of their own, established rules and governments within their own tribes and made treaties with other tribes, and established their own languages and means of communication. Yes, they fought with other tribes. They fought for land, they fought for supplies, they fought for many reasons. How, I ask, is that any different than any other civilization since time began?
And yet they were savages who needed to be taught.
So what did we bring them? The word of God. The bible. How to worship a book instead of the earth and everything she provided. And what else? Disease. Alcohol. And guns. Let's not forget the guns. Then we told them they couldn't stay on this land they had held for how many hundreds of years because we wanted it. So we made them move. But still told them God was good and would take care of them. Trail of Tears, anyone?
Then we have Catholicism. What a complete joke. That religion is so steeped in violence, murder, corruption and greed that I am absolutely amazed that anyone actually takes it seriously. The Pope is flawless and never has an impure thought? Seriously? He's MALE. I call complete BULLSHIT. And don't even get me started on the whole "priests raping little boys" scandal. That just makes me sick. So they're ok with covering that up, moving those priests around to keep it quiet.......but birth control is a sin, fertility assistance goes against the word of God, homosexuality is an abomination, and so on and so on. I've got news for you, Catholics....homosexuality has been observed in almost every animal species. You know what has never been observed in anything but humans? CELIBACY. Oh and then there's the problem I have with Catholicism and the ten commandments.....you know the one that says, "Thou shalt have no other Gods before me"? Then there's the one that says you cannot create any image or any likeness of any heavenly being or object. Those would be the FIRST TWO commandments. Now, walk into any Catholic church. And there ya go. Absolute hypocrisy.
So now you have people arguing against abortion, even though Roe vs. Wade was passed almost forty years ago, and they're trying to use the bible to stand behind. You have people arguing against equal rights for homosexuals, trying to use the bible to stand behind. You have people arguing that the government (the GOVERNMENT) should be following the bible, using prayer in Congress, and so on. What in the hell is going on in this country?
I love the people who try to argue that this country was founded on Christianity. Um, no it wasn't and some of you people seriously need to read up on your history. The Treaty of Tripoli, ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1797, states that "the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." Furthermore, Article Six of the Constitution reads "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any
office or public trust under the United States." In other words, a person does not have to
subscribe to any particular religious faith in order to serve as President, as a member of
Congress, as a federal judge, or in any other government position. The First Amendment
prohibits the government from banning any religion, and also prohibits the government from
setting up any religion as the nation's official faith, no matter what the zealots would like to
Oh, Westboro Baptist Church. What ammunition you provide. If ever there was an entity that
claims to be doing the work of God and is, in actuality, doing the COMPLETE OPPOSITE, it
would be you. You people are so ridiculously misled and brainwashed it's amazing any of
you can go take a pee on your own. Oh wait, maybe you all do that together, too. Mr. Phelps,
you are evil walking, and you can tell yourself whatever you want to help yourself sleep at
night, but the ONLY people who think you have any sense in that peabrain of yours are the
ones drinking your KoolAid on a daily basis. Freak.
I don't claim to be an atheist. I don't claim to be agnostic. I was raised and baptized Episcopalian, but then church became more of a social scene once I was in middle and high school. We'd go to church with my grandparents, sometimes this Baptist church, sometimes that one, sometimes a Methodist church. I guess the feeling was, as Dolly Parton said in "Steel Magnolias", that "God didn't care which church you went to as long as you showed up."
I also don't claim to be religious. I believe in science, I believe in facts, and I sure as hell don't believe that the bible: a book written by men, a book that contradicts itself over and over, a book made of up stories passed down by how many generations with embellishments and additions made by how many people.....I just cannot believe that this is a book I am supposed to base my entire life around.
Now here's where I will concede a few points. I do not argue that there are good points and morals in the bible that we should all strive to follow. I mean really, there's the Golden Rule, which SOOOO many people seem to have conveniently forgotten: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." Too bad more "Christians" don't follow that one.
My husband and I are kind, generous people. We teach our children to be kind and respectful, and we do not judge people by anything but by their deeds. We have the same struggles as everyone else. We give to charities, we volunteer our time in our community, we take care of our responsibilities and we don't expect anything from anyone. We open doors for people, we say please and thank you, we teach our children correct table manners and to be respectful of adults. We do our best to recycle and do what we can to help reduce our carbon footprint. I work in the garden, I teach my girls how to help me with that, and hopefully in the spring we're going to start a vegetable garden. We help when help is warranted, but we certainly balk at helping people who just want something for nothing. My husband and I love each other deeply, we are celebrating our tenth anniversary this year, we have a lot of fun together, and we make sure our children see us show affection toward each other just as much as we show affection towards them. There's not a day in this house that every single person isn't told how much they are loved. Again, we have the same struggles, the same frustrations, the same child-rearing woes as everyone else. We yell, we get angry. We also make up, laugh, giggle, cry and hug each other.
Yep, we're total heathens.