Reasons Why I am Vocal about my Atheism
The other day I received an email asking me why I am so vocal in my atheist and general anti-religion commentary. It was a well meant email, in that it was not full of hate speech, religious rage, etc. It concluded with the question, “From now on, why can’t we just keep our religious opinions to ourselves?” Good question. I thought I would tackle that one today.
Dear theists who want me to keep my religious/god opinions to myself,
I would be quite happy to keep my anti-religious/atheist opinions to myself. In fact, I look forward to a world where I would not feel the need to share them with others. I yearn for a day when my atheism is irrelevant, where my anti-religious statements would have no useful purpose. However, that day is not today. Today, in the U.S. we live in a society that is becoming ever more religious in some ways. I understand that in some ways society is more secular. What is permissible on television and in grocery store magazines on a minor scale and a general acceptance of things like homosexuality on larger scales. Despite these things, religion, specifically Christianity, has become a major political force in our country. This is predominantly where my problem with religion can be found. I will be happy to keep my opinions to myself when theists manage to keep their opinions to themselves on many topics such as, but not limited to: (Aside: I am going to keep this general for the sake of brevity)
- The separation of Church and State. You can try to spin this however you choose but a few facts still remain. We were not founded as a Christian nation. Second, the only time religion is mentioned at all in our Constitution is when the founders were placing limits on it. Stop trying to seek special treatment for religious institutions that secular groups would not receive. Stop claiming “foul” whenever a law is passed that goes against your religious beliefs. Stop trying to have your beliefs instituted as laws. Your religion is not the concern of the government. When you keep your religion out of politics, I will stop being vocal about it.
- Religion v. Science. Stop arguing with tried and true science. I realize that in order to accomplish this task, you will have to seriously question some aspects of your faith. Religions have had problems with science from Galileo to Hawking. Why do you think that is? The answer is simple. So many new scientific discoveries prove that parts of what you believe are highly improbably at best and flat out wrong at worst. Again, that is not “science’s problem”. Deal with the issues and problems that your religion faces in the light of reality on your own. Stop trying to discredit facts with biblical data that has zero justification, and I will stop criticizing when you do so.
- Religion’s treatment of women. Just about every religion that is represented in the U.S. (and most of the world for that matter) has an atrocious history towards women. Women are not second class citizens. The fact that your religion and holy books believe that they are is not reality. Deal with your issues on your own and stop trying to force them into the public eye. Stop trying to make the government support your archaic and misogynistic views. Do that, and I will stop writing about the rampant sexism that enshrouds religion.
- Religion’s treatment of homosexuals. Once again we find that just about all religions have a problem with homosexuality. The arguments to support this are biblically based and have no scientific data support. In fact, we know, without a doubt that homosexual is not a choice and is quite natural. There is evidence to support this throughout the animal kingdom. Your holy book is wrong. Stop trying to force your ideas into public dialogue. There is no room for it. Start treating all people as equals and I will stop writing about your bigotry.
- Stop trying to kill each other. I realize this is not a huge problem in the U.S. However, it is a major problem around the world. Stop claiming to be a religion of peace when so many wars have been fought and are currently being fought under a religious banner. You have never seen nor are you likely to see a war fought to expand atheism. Do not point to dictators like Hitler, Stalin and Mao to combat this fact. Those are old, tired, and already debunked arguments. Stop killing people by the millions and I will stop commenting on how violent religions tend to be.
- Stop trying to move society backwards. The goals of things such as creationism, women as nothing more than mothers, and biblical laws only serve to move our society back a few centuries. This is not helpful. Particularly when the remainder of the developed world is moving forward. Destroying a generation’s knowledge of science will not only hurt the U.S., but will greatly impact the economy of the rest of world. Put your incorrect holy book aside and get with reality or keep it to yourself. Do not drag everyone else backwards with you. Stop trying to retard the growth of society and I will stop pointing out how backwards you appear.
- Actually start caring about humanity. Most religions have tenets in them that regard caring for the poor and other types of needy people. In practice this is not always to be found. The term “Christian Right” is laughable as a name. How can so many “Christians” support the cutting of funding from the poor and “needy”? It is hypocritical. I am tired of the argument…”but look at all the good works religions do around the world…” Yippee, there are just as many secular organizations doing the same work, and many of them do it better and more efficiently. How can Catholicism still be against birth control when millions die of AIDS and overpopulation is a real problem? How can they hold that opinion then still claim to care for the poor and needy? Hypocrisy. As long as the actions of religions continue to promote death and poverty I cannot hold my tongue.
- Stop saying that you will “pray for _____”. It is damn offensive and it happens all around me every day. There is no need that I have, or that any one person has that is more important than the needs of the greater good. It is foolish to say that you will pray for me to feel better, for your team to win the game, for your political candidate to win an election, etc. Prayer does not work. If it did, why waste it on such stupidity? Pray for something important, like cures to diseases. I am tired that so many places open with a prayer “to look after the group”. It is offensive to those of us who see it for what it is, it is arrogant, and it is so often misplaced. Keep your prayers to yourself and I will stop complaining about them.
- Stop advertising your religion. Stop with the bumper stickers on your cars, the billboards every few miles on the highway, the ads on television and the internet. If you want non-believers to stop criticizing them, stop making appeals to non-believers. It is not a difficult concept.
- Lastly, stop claiming a “moral high ground” all the time. Religions have been guilty of the worst atrocities in humanity. Religion today is still guilty of much “immoral” activity. The Catholic Church shields child molesters and Evangelical Pastors preach hate and bigotry daily. Religion does not have any moral authority. In fact, it often deserves the most criticism. I do not expect theists to be perfect, that would be unrealistic. However, stop claiming that you are correct on moral issues because the bible justifies your beliefs. That is foolishness and I cannot stay quiet so long as that continues.
This is a short list of reasons stating why I cannot keep my atheist and anti-religion comments to myself. With ease, I could continue or go into greater detail. However, I want to let my readers add to it. Feel free to add a comment that discusses an agenda that I did not discuss. You can of course comment on those that I wrote as well. If you are interested in these topics I have written at length on most of them in other posts—check out the archives.
Thanks for Reading. I look forward to your comments.
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