There are many many religious people out there who are decent, kind and honest people. If you are one of these and find yourself shocked at the actions of people who claim to be acting in the name of your religion then you should speak out against them. Remember most atheists don’t care what you believe, they only care if what you believe is used to limit the freedom of others. If you stay silent then you will run the risk of being tarred with the same brush as the extremists.
Also, I’m going to lose a ton of followers over this but idgaf:
Those who consider themselves only moderately religious really need to look in the mirror and realize that the solace and comfort that religion brings you actually comes at a terrible price. If you belonged to a political party or a social club that was tied to as much bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, violence, and sheer ignorance as religion is, you’d resign in protest. To do otherwise is to be an enabler, a mafia wife, for the true devils of extremism.
holy crap the relevance
Good for you!
But…are you willing to help end the problem?
You see, you can’t just think about yourself and say that you are not hateful. Is your congregation contributing to the hatred? Are you contributing to your congregation? Then, I’m sorry, but you ARE helping the problem to continue.
So your congregation isn’t hateful? Does a portion of the money you tithe go to the mother church? Are any of the churches of your faith hateful? Then, I’m sorry, but you ARE still helping the problem continue.
Is your entire faith free of discrimination and hate? That is awesome! But…
Do you accept that Jesus is your savior, and are filled with the love of his spirit and want to spread that love? That’s wonderful, but the very same logic that gives you that love also feeds others in their bigotries. You CAN’T just read only the good parts of the Bible and dismiss the bad. You have to read the bad parts too. Why? Because OTHER people are reading those bad parts. Other people are believing those bad parts with all the sincerity and acceptance that you get out of the nice verses. Those parts are exactly as justifiable as the parts that you read.
This goes for the Quran too. Islam is a religion of peace. Islam is a religion of war. Both statements are true, depending on how you read the book. The Quran teaches of direct communication with Allah. Yet the text is ancient and needs interpretation. Of men. Men who can teach of peace. Men who can teach of hatred. It’s all in there.
If you accept your holy book as the word of your god, others will too. And they will read it differently, and with every bit the same sincerity. And, going from the book alone, they are every bit as “correct” in their interpretation as you are.
Because the holy books are INCOMPLETE! They don’t speak of abortion. They don’t speak of contraception. These things did not exist when they were written. We must INTERPRET these books by what we have learned of morality since they were written. But since we have had to learn our own moralities and find support for them in the books, perhaps the books guide us wrongly.
Wouldn’t your god’s morality be encoded into the world in which we live? We don’t need the books. We have the universe, the creation, itself.
WE choose what to accept and what to reject from the holy books. WE choose what is moral. WE choose right and wrong.
If there is a single verse in your book that you don’t think applies any more in today’s world, then you, or your teacher, has made their own moral judgement.
Morality, then, exists independently of religion.
When you use your religion to guide your morality to do “good” things, there are others using it, with exactly as much justification, to hate. Religion is not the guide to morality.
Whatever you do, do not sit silently when others use your holy book to pervert morality. Stand up! Stand against those who hate others. Be loud about it. Help your congregation be loud about it, as well.
And, as always, I wish you peace.