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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Taboo

Two of the most taboo things to discuss: religion and politics. This is a long one, so if you don't like touchy subjects like religion and politics, turn around.

One of my friends recently made an entry in her politics blog about her religion and her politics and I thought it was a good enough idea for me to gank, since our religion and our politics say a lot about who we are, and sometimes why we are that way.

Let me start off by saying I'm a passionate person, and my opinions are usually pretty verbose. I'm not afraid to talk about either of these topics, and I encourage discourse about them always. Well, provided you're not Glenn Beck. I may come across as forceful or opinionated, but I would like to assure you that this is just the European upbringing I was blessed with. Now that you're warned, let's get on with it.

I am not "educated." I have no degree(s). I've been to college a few times and I couldn't stand being told how to learn things and how to interpret things. This doesn't make me less intelligent than anyone with a degree, despite what society may tell you.

I'm clearly a liberal. A dirty, pinko, commie, progressive liberal. You know why I am a liberal? Because I generally believe (and excuse me for quoting Spock) that the needs of the few are outweighed by the needs of the many. I don't necessarily believe in "big government," as so many folks are apt to think. I believe in people policing themselves! But sadly, they don't. The government is not trustworthy as a babysitter either, but at least there's some kind of control to keep the greedy bastards in check. Which is the lesser evil?

I voted for Obama. I don't regret it (yet). I may in the future, but for right now, I'm all thumbs-up.

As far as religion: I have none. I'm a staunch atheist, and luckily, so is Chris. I can probably tell you more about any religion out there than most of that religion's practitioners. I spend a great deal of time thinking about religion and how it impacts us all. That's not exclusive to Christians, I might add. The need to believe in a deity is perplexing to me. I genuinely think I'm missing that part of my brain, and I have no want to re-install it.

I want to make it crystalline clear that despite our being atheists, this does NOT mean we're not held to any accountability covenant. We are not bad people. We're liable to ourselves. What a foreign concept, right? WE are responsible for our own actions. WE make decisions for ourselves. WE guide ourselves through life, while sometimes hard, should be rewarding at the end. Yeah, sometimes it's hard to find hope. Yeah, sometimes it's hard to make sense of the world we live in. Sure, sometimes it's extremely hard to do the right thing let alone determine what is actually right, but in the end, to see the world for what it really is - or at least strive to - is a reward in and of itself.

I can assure you that being atheist means we've got to work harder to convince the world that we're not actually bad, immoral monsters. We're just people who don't believe in a god. Your god, their god, his god, her god, whatever. We don't believe in it.

We're good people who work hard and always strive to do what is "right." Not by god's standards, but by HUMAN standards. Don't hurt each other needlessly, if you CAN help you SHOULD help, understand the hardships of others, and all that jazz. It doesn't take a deity to want to do good by your brothers and sister.

2 comments:

Telemachus said...

Agreed 100%. There's no shame in quoting Spock either; now there was a man with discipline, courage and wisdom - concepts that are alien to lot of folks these days.

I feel that religion is a crutch for most people to avoid having to think deeply about what they do and how they do it. I can understand why people in tough situations, such as those facing famine or war, might be more open to accepting religion, but it baffles me that so many in rich and prosperous Western nations, where hunger is rare and education is widespread, fall for it so readily.

Sassafrass said...

Regarding quoting Spock: I fear my argument would be discounted because I quoted a character from Star Trek. Some people, you know?

I *totally* agree with you when you say you can understood those who are suffering to turn to religion. As far as the rich are concerned, I'm convinced religion is more often than not used as a facade intentionally.