Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A View Of The #1 Reason Why I Am An Atheist

Because the ones who are the most adamant and strident about believing in God are usually so insecure about their beliefs that they're threatened by those who don't share them.

How else can one explain the reaction some "true believers" are having to the PG rating given to "Facing The Giants" by the MPAA? Or the current push toward moral legislation, like abolishing gay marriage, limiting a woman's right to choose, or the display of Christian dogma in government buildings?

I don't know much about religion and even less about the whole God thing, but I do know that the strident nature of the Christian right seems to border on pride and wrath - and according to what I've read, God didn't like those attributes in mankind. Virtues like prudence, liberality, and charity are supposed to be what mankind is supposed to uphold. If a person doesn't hold the beliefs of the majority, that doesn't make that person a threat. It simply makes him or her different.

And, if I remember correctly from my reading, didn't God create mankind in His image? That means, if you believe, everything on this planet is a reflection what God is supposed to be. Changing the rules midway through the game can't change that fact.

It's all nonsense to me - the game of religion and God, that is - because I think that religion and God is a creation of mankind to cope with the overwhelming nature of things we cannot understand. Death is intimidating. Why we were created and why we exist is an eternal mystery. We've been staring at the sky wondering if we are alone in this universe for centuries and we still don't know the answer to that question. Creating the myth of an omniscient being who sees all, knows all, and controls all is quite the security blanket. When circumstances change in our world, this being can be molded into an image that continuously soothes when the questions become too frightening to bear.

And if others don't follow that belief, or dare to question the logic behind that myth, they too become a threat. That makes no sense to me. Life is all about exploration. If one stops challenging authority, stops asking questions, stops accepting the norms at face value, then one's life ends. From my experience, the blind faith of the Christian right in this country and their lashing out at those who dare to be different - the agnostic, the atheist, the Jew, the Muslim - is truly corrosive.

We deserve better than that. Questioning, challenging, thinking, evolving - that's the American way. If your exploration takes you closer to a God, then good for you. If it takes you to a more secular point of view, that's all good, too.

Thomas Jefferson said it best, "Divided we stand. United we fall."

More to come later, after I celebrate my independence.

Update (7/5/06): I've found two more quotes from Mr. Jefferson that sum up my beliefs more eloquently than I could ever hope to put them. Here's the first:

"The clergy converted the simple teachings of Jesus into an engine for enslaving mankind and adulterated by artificial constructions into a contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves...these clergy, in fact, constitute the real Anti-Christ. "

Here's the second:

"I have examined all the known superstitions of the word, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth."

I have no quarrel with those who believe, however. Another wise man once said you gotta serve somebody. Again, I defer to Jefferson, who gets the final word with this quote:

"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend."

More to come later from your favorite heathen.


Blogger Chuck said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:35 PM  
Blogger TEM said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:05 PM  
Blogger TEM said...

Hi, VFTT readers:

Someone posted a comment that rubbed me the wrong way. I posted a reply, but decided the best way to handle things on my blog was to simply delete the comment and my reply. I deleted the comment not because I don't believe in open discourse - I love a good, open discussion. I deleted it because I determined the person who placed the comment was simply itching for a fight, and I abhor a bully.

Besides, I don't believe in God, but I do believe that on VFTT, I am God. It's good to be the deity.

Keep reading and keep posting folks, but if you're looking to stir the pot just because you have a nifty new spoon, you should look for another pot.

10:21 PM  
Anonymous Robert Singleton said...

I am of the mindset that Religon or lack there of is a personal choice that is the right of the person him/herself. Who are we to try to dicate to someone else our beliefs? Who says are beliefs are true? We live in the United States of America and have the RIGHT to believe or not believe what we want. That extends to or belief in the Almighty or not the Almighty.

7:37 AM  

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