Sunday, October 15, 2006

You're Naked Inside Your Fear

Okay, here we go. A second response to my anti-Statehouse-prayer letter, and this one accuses me of being anti-Christian. It’s printed in the Star on Sunday, October 15, 2006, and is authored by a human from Indianapolis. I shall refrain from calling him an idiot, although he is pretty close. He speaks about how atheist, Communist governments around the world treat the Christians in their midsts.

Hmm. I guess it depends on which resources you consult for your information on atheism. Of the five Communist countries remaining in existence (China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam), the only one listed in the World Almanac for 2005 as officially atheist is China. Here are a few countries where Christianity is the primary religion, and where things have always been hunky-dory for the people: Germany, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda. Get the picture, Mr. ••••••••? Being mostly full of Christians does not automatically make a place good and its people fuzzy and lovable.

His second paragraph seems to suggest that religion is some sort of balm for suffering. He must be referring to such things as the Spanish Inquisition and the Crusades; and let's not forget the truly uplifting Salem witch trials. Freedom and democracy are the balms for suffering. Religion exists ONLY to explain what cannot be explained by the best mind currently living on earth. I can explain why Communism causes suffering, and that is because it teaches that each man must produce to the best of his ability so that the most needy and least productive of his fellow men can benefit from his efforts. This is the same as pouring light into a black hole - those who are able willingly sacrifice themselves to those who are unable; what will you do when the source of the light runs out? Write a new religious text? By what light will you operate your pen?

Our leaders must rely on wisdom from above? Oh my. And will it be you, Mr. ••••••••, who invalidates their degrees from Harvard and Yale and Stanford and Princeton? You who invalidates the firings of the synapses in their brains? By all means, let’s put it all on some invisible man in the sky.

What I am against, stated plainly in my letter, is having Christianity shoved down my throat by the majority of the people. Save it. You’re not going to get to me. And you shouldn’t be trying to get everyone else, either. The failure of the Old Testament as a sociological experiment proves that guilt as a weapon is an intractable premise.

I am perfectly tolerant of Christians. My wife is a Christian, and she is the most tolerant and amazing human being I have ever known. She does not shove it down my throat; she does not ask me to go to to church with her (too often); she does not castigate me for taking her lord’s name in vain; she does not judge me. She does think I am overzealous sometimes. Wonder how she came to that conclusion. It's an uphill battle for the free-thinking in this state.

Religion has two places, for those who feel compelled, for reasons passing understanding, to buy into it - in church, and in the home. It does not, can not, belong in the public discourse. The reason for this is that there are so many different religions out there that the public discourse simply does not have room for all of them. Who is to say which mythology is right and which is wrong? Who can judge? Who has that right? To accept them equally is to strip them each of their superiority, and this is where the religious show their fear. It is why they cannot be trusted. They are not truly convinced they are right, but they are terrified that they are wrong.

The only reason that religion exists is because there are people who acknowledge the power that fear has over their senses and their reason. This is the final hurdle, to overcome that fear and believe in your reason.

It has nothing to do with tolerance, apart from the fact that there are some who tolerate their fear of existing as free humans on planet earth. You live and you die. It’s okay. So does everyone else.

No comments: