Perspectives on Atheism
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April 16th, 2013 (12:31 PM). Edited April 16th, 2013 by Dakotah.
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
My experiences with Christians has been largely negative. It is not easy being a part of a group who are routinely and viciously attacked by god-fearing people simply because of who I am. I try in my life to treat all people fairly, to be courteous with them in our interactions. But much damage has been inflicted by what I believe to be a small, but very vocal minority, of so-called Christians that every encounter with a Christian causes me to raise my shields in expectation of an attack. When the attack does not come, as it more often than not doesn't, I am left relieved but still suspicious. This is a fault of mine. But I have come to recognize it as a defence mechanism that won't go away until the perception of the religious has altered, and that won't happen until change is accepted on both sides.
There is a very vocal minority in the religious community that attacks those whose ideals, beliefs or characteristics differs from their own. And from the rest is silence. A few do speak up and counter those who would do harm to others. But their voices are small and rarely heard because the vocal minority has raised their own voices to deafening levels, both within the leadership and those who simply prescribe to a specific belief.
I would so much like to never again have to view anyone with suspicion who is a Christian, or any religion for that matter. But unless and until the voices of reason and acceptance can rise their voices above the din of divisiveness, I fear that that will not happen any time soon.
My own mother is a Christian. And even with her I have my shields up. Not because I want to, but because it has become a conditioned response. I have asked her, and other Christians that do not view the LGBT community negatively, what they would be willing to do to ensure that people like me would be treated with the same dignity they would hope to be treated. I have been assured they would be there for me. But still, the voices against divisiveness from the religious community remains silent about the treatment of the LGBT community. And the only voices heard are those that condemn us.
When someone tells me to respect someone who is religious, given my experiences, how is that possible? Respect is a level of trust, and I simply do not trust the religious because their beliefs can so easily be twisted to harm what they profess to love.
I do not believe in a god because it is a concept that has been perverted by the human race into something that is destructive when it was meant to promote love and understanding between all peoples. Like with everything else the human race creates, God has become a weapon to shame, marginalize, and even destroy differences, and to seek to make everyone conform to one standard. No religion is immune to this corruption because religion is a creation of flawed human beings.
Even now for instance, as we speak, Catholics who are supportive of gay rights or the ordination of women into the priesthood, or are supportive of birth control, are being threatened by the Catholic leadership of being denied communion. Gotta love the love there. Sounds more like the Borg with their line: "You will be assimilated, resistance if futile." In other words, conform or you will be punished.
In the U.S. there are a group of nuns who are being investigated by the Vatican because they have focussed their efforts on relieving the suffering of those who are poor or sick. They do not trouble themselves with the church's social policies as a habit. And yet it is precisely this that the church is demanding of them, to concentrate less on helping the downtrodden, and focusing more on opposing what they perceive to be social ills. Yes, so very logical. Stop helping the poor and do more to help the Church engage in gay bashing.
Is it no wonder the Catholic church is loosing members so rapidly?
History has demonstrated time and time again that the more power you exercise over another, the less control you have. We're seeing now that religious leaders are desperate to hold onto as much power as they can, and are doing so by issuing threats, and trying to expand their political influence into the every day lives of others. Not just of those who are members, but those outside of the church entirely.
Religion in today's societies is as corrupt as any other governing body the human race has come up with.
I postulated a theory not to long ago, that all of us combined are God; every living thing and every inanimate object; every speck of dust and microscopic particle; and every electron and atom. I suggested that we are simply a part of the universe trying to understand itself through us.
This to me seems so much more plausible than an entity or a force responsible for all of creation and that we must somehow answer to it for fear of being punished. And it seems to me, very likely, that it is a theory that could actually be scientifically tested and studied by theologians together. A true blending, if you will, of science and religion. I could certainly celebrate a union like that if it was approached on both sides with an open mind and with all preconceived notions left at the door.
The only thing stopping something like this from occurring, however, is organized groups determined to protect their own interests. In the end it's not really truth they are seeking. It's power and control. It always has been, and don't expect that to change any time soon.
"...many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view." ~ Obi Wan Kenobi
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