Noticing that I’ve been getting a lot of spam from Christian Singles groups (or Chr1stiAn S1ngl3s as the subject line says), I wondered why no atheistic singles group have been pandering to me. Which caused my mind to wander (as it does) to atheism in general. As many of you know, I was raised Mormon (no, I didn’t have four moms, but yes, my parents wore the magic underpants) and became agnostic around the age of 16 and finally gave in to full blown atheism at around 21 or 22. This isn’t going to be a rant about how stupid people who believe in god or gods or in any kind of all powerful being or beings or powers are, because let me tell you, I know of a few atheists who are just as fanatical and act just as superior about NOT believing in a divine being as do some nutjob ultra-conservatives from the Religious Right. I’m not going to lie, at the beginning of my newfound beliefs, I was guilty of it, too. I understand that it is more logical to a lot of people to trust in science than in some big, scary man in the sky. It’s okay to quietly feel superior and it’s even okay to question other’s beliefs and try to reason with those that have different views than you do, especially when they flippantly and ignorantly dismiss your beliefs as immoral, which I’ll get to in a bit. The problem comes when you start disrespecting and lumping in ALL people who believe in a higher power and brand them as instant idiots who want to firebomb abortion centers and kill all homosexuals. My opinion (and I stress the word opinion) is that people all have the potential to continue learning. And most people DO start believing in fantastical beings who can perform great miracles (i.e. Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, Michael Jordan), whether they were raised in a religious household or not. Granted, there are a LOT of bad things that come from religion, but most of the ten commandments are pretty basic moral guidlines (besides all the golden calves and prostating), which are don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t fuck your friend’s wife, be nice to your mom and dad and basically be a good person. Unfortunately, we also have The Crusades, The Taipei Rebellion, The Jewish-Roman Wars, Jihad, 9/11, the aforementioned bombing of abortion clinics and Bibleman.
Which leads me to my believing friends. What really made me start thinking of this was my general belief that of all the moral/philosophical groups that are stereotyped, atheists are the ones who get discriminated against, with almost NO guilt or responsibility whatsoever. Stupidman said it best today (which admittedly also spurred some of these formulations in my head), when Chaos (jokingly, I’m postive) said on my FB, “Because you’re going to burn in hell.” To which SM said to me (paraphrasing), “That’s something a religious nut would joke about, but still mean it with a large grain of truth.” The reason a lot of atheists react as they do, is because we’re told that we are immoral because we don’t follow your EXACT morals. Not some of your morals, but EXACT. I may not cheat, steal, murder, rape and I could help my fellow man to the best of my ability, but if I don’t worship your particular brand of god, I’m immoral? Why? I don’t have all the answers to the universe, but I have some of the answers to MY universe. And they work for me. I try not to hurt other people, I try to be nice, I try to help others and I even sacrifice of myself for others. What about that makes me worthy to burn in torment forever? It’s rather simplistic and has been said before and by greater men (and women) than me, but rules with no clear reason and with no other explanation other than “BECAUSE I SAID SO” are actually, and correct me if I’m wrong, a form of fascism.
I think that’s all I’m allowed to wax philosophical about without a college degree, so I’ll cut it off right there. And if you’re wondering about the title, I give a tip of the hat to my man, Patton Oswalt, and I won’t sully his act by trying to recreate it.
For those of you who are of the TOO LONG; DIDN’T READ variety, my point is basically this: try to be more tolerant of those that think differently than you do, because whether you believe they do or not, they might have something new or a new perspective for you to actually learn from, whether they mean it or not. Now let’s all hold hands and sing Hari Krishna.