Pin It
Sep
06

Johnny says: “I don’t respect peoples’ beliefs!”:

            Respecting
the beliefs of others is considered the right thing to do, nowadays, especially,
and people think they’re being so tolerant and fair-minded by saying that and
practicing it (or pretending to).  But, I don’t respect beliefs
that I think are wrong or harmful. People have the right to hold crazy beliefs
in a free society, but I don’t have to respect them, no matter how traditional
or popular, or deeply held they may be.

             A long time ago I stopped believing in
the idea of an omnipresent, all-seeing “God” because it follows that
“God” witnesses horrors like torture and horrible abuse of children
but does nothing to stop it. That sick notion is often “explained
away” by an even sicker notion that “God” doesn’t or musn’t interfere
in the “free will” of the perpetrator! So the “free will”
of a rapist overrides the cries of the poor, innocent victims for help from God?
Well, then why do we tell children to pray for protection for themselves and
their loved ones?

            “Don’t
worry,” we’re told; “That cruel sadist will pay the price; nobody
gets away with anything. Just wait until “Judgment day!”  But don’t hold your breath. And,
another interesting idea is that if the worst victimizer in the world sincerely
asks for forgiveness, even with his last breath – it’s granted.  So, what’s it about: delayed punishment,
forgiveness, revenge, mercy? 

            They
say the truth will make you free, and I think we can at least be free of
conflicting, illogical beliefs that only serve to confuse us if we dare to hold
them up to the light. You know what really gets me? It doesn’t matter how
logical and well intentioned we are when we challenge the cruel contradictions
of Religious dogma. There’s always some theologian, or Bible scholar, or rabbi,
or TV evangelist or kindly priest or snake-handling holy roller to put us in
our place with the idea that “God’s ways” are not ours to question or
understand and we should shut up and step back before we get our arrogant selves
in some trouble we can’t get out of – forever.

            Why,
though, would God give us brains if he wanted us to ignore the obvious or not
try to make sense of things we’re told by other people to believe
unquestioningly?  Look, I’m not
insisting that there’s no God. I’d be asking you to respect what would amount
to MY “belief” and, besides, how could I know that? You can’t prove a
negative. I can’t even prove that my neighbors don’t have a unicorn in their
garage that disappears when you open the door or a camera’s around. But I do know
that lots of people are bullshitting themselves or other people when it comes
to Religion, and they think they’re being righteous in the process. But come
on, People: The Judeo-Christian Tradition?  They try to be ecumenical and “nice” and say the
right things in public, but both camps think the other’s myth is Brand X. One
group thinks the other side is too
stupid to know a messiah when they see one and the other side thinks their
counterparts are too stupid to know a false
messiah when they see one.  That’s
the “tradition” that’s guiding us?  Why don’t we just do our best to follow The Golden Rule, obey
the Law, and forget about making ourselves and our kids believe a bunch of
stuff we can’t prove or really make sense of?  Why would any “God” worthy of the name punish us
for that?