A Letter to the Religious
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12-01-2012, 06:56 PM
Shocked A Letter to the Religious
A Letter to the Religious.

I have a problem. I have a very big problem. Not only am I not religious in any way, I’m afraid I don’t believe in god. Now, I don’t believe that I have a problem, but I know that there are many out there who are shaking their heads right now. A disbelief in god is admitting that I am an immoral person. Without god in my life, I have no moral compass, no means by which I may divine my purpose in life. Even worse, I can detract your dearest loved ones away from the loving arms of your god, which in turn exempts them from your loving arms as well. Yet, I am the immoral one for accepting everyone regardless of their creed. It is a cross that I must bear.
I know that I am not alone in my beliefs. There are millions upon millions of others who share the exact same beliefs and sentiments that I do. You accept many of us into your lives with open arms. You laugh with us, call us when you face existential issues, and you get coffee with us in the mornings; though you never know who we are. Many of us keep to ourselves; it’s easier to merely be someone who keeps their religious preferences silent. You operate in total ignorance of our religious differences, and you love us because of who we are. It is for that reason that we keep silent.
We are a silent majority, a silent power. You distrust us, and perhaps rightfully so. Behind closed doors we speak of terrible things and dream of a godless world. In hushed tones we fantasize about reason and science rising to a total prominence. We sing a silent hymn not to a god or any all-powerful being, but merely to our fellow man. We seek not power, merely the freedom to stand in the light of day without a necessity to explain our disbelief. Yes, we are the people who sense that there is something very wrong in this country.
We can understand a great many things. I would never dare ask that you drop your beliefs. They are yours to hold, yours to explore in any way that you see fit. Yet I feel no reciprocity. Yes, I challenge your beliefs. Mine run directly contrary to everything that you believe, it is natural that I would challenge yours. Yet, I would deny you the ability to hold. I would never consider you an immoral person based merely on the beliefs you hold. I judge you by the actions that you perform, the way that you treat your fellow man, your ability enjoy the company of different beliefs. I have seen you scoff at what I am, felt your hatred. I have lamented at your misunderstanding of what it is that I really am. Yes, we can understand a great many things. Yet we can never understand your distrust of us.
I ask you this: If you were born in an Islamic household, would you still be Christian? If you were born in a Jewish household, would you find your way to Christianity? Or would you embrace those religions with such ferocity as you do now? It is my belief that if you were raised Jewish, you would remain Jewish. I will readily admit; that if I were raised as a Catholic or Satanist, I would regrettably remain as such. These truths that we so ardently cling to are merely a function of the power of our beliefs. We are pliable, we trust what we were taught as we grew. I cannot believe that absolute power that you put forth of any one belief.
I acknowledge openly that there are many who have changed religions. There are people who have been raised to one religion, become atheist, and found their faith again in another religion. These beliefs are our manifestation of power. We believe that Christianity has power, so we place our belief in its hands. We believe that there is no power in religion, and so we place our trust in the hands of science. Perhaps we believe in none of that, and so we find a combination of the two, or something which I cannot imagine at the moment. Regardless, we all exercise our belief in the power of a given system. We call it faith, we call it religion, we call it fact. Regardless of the name it goes by, it is all in constant flux.
I am an atheist. I am proud of who I am. Never in my life have I attacked a person for their beliefs. I have doubted them, but I have never been angry at another for the beliefs that they hold. I do not attack you personally or doubt your morality, your personality, your desire to merely live your life. What I do is challenge the system in which you have placed your faith. No system can endure if it is not challenged. These intellectual challenges represent our ability to test our systems. These are not designed to test your faith or attack your person. My doubts and questions are a direct result of my desire to understand. Through questioning what it is that you believe, you can learn about what it is that you actually hold dear. Through my questions, I can understand what it is that I believe.
I do not seek to take your children from you in the dead of night. I exist just as you do. I am trying to live my life in the exact same way that you are. Yes, I am annoying, because I point out inconsistencies that I see. Yes, I become frustrated with you because you may ignore my points. Yes, I am sometimes just as closed minded as you. I absolutely agree that sometimes you are more open minded than I am; perhaps you are always more open minded than me. I do not know to be honest. What I do know is that I am a villain in the eyes of many. What I do know is that I am solider, a son, a friend, and a member of your community.
You look to me in times of difficulty to give you advice. You come with me to see movies, and we laugh at the same scenes. You let me speak to your family. You have dated me, and even loved me. Some of you even look up to me. Am I not just as much a person as you are? I am, and I know I am. The challenges that I present to your religion are just that, challenges. If what I present cannot undo your faith in your religion, then you have expressed your choice. It is a choice that I will abide. All I ask in return is that you abide my choice, for I have made a choice at the same junction that you now stand.
Hate me, if you will. I cannot stop you, nor do I need your love. You do not beg for the love of an atheist, and I will not beg for your love. Judge me if you wish, but judge me based on my actions. Cast me out if you need, but do so based on the man that I am, not the god that I do not believe in. You deny countless gods throughout the history of mankind, as do I. I appeal to you now, not as a militant atheist seeking to show you some “error” in your thoughts, I appeal to you as your neighbor. I do not ask for your forgiveness, only that you know me before you hate me. We have gotten along for years without you knowing what I believe. Isn’t it time we all grew up just a little bit? Isn’t it time that we all stopped dividing ourselves so neatly between them and us? It accomplishes nothing but building walls which we pass down from generation to generation, often never remembering why. I think it would be better to build monuments to our acceptance, instead of furthering our own small minded goals.

-An Atheist
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13-01-2012, 01:33 PM
RE: A Letter to the Religious
Absolutely wonderful. That is the kind of message that needs to be translated to all religions. Like it or not, we share the planet with every other human being.
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13-01-2012, 03:16 PM
RE: A Letter to the Religious
Click on the link in my signature

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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19-01-2012, 09:36 PM
RE: A Letter to the Religious
I'm just tired of all the discontent thrown in our general direction. Americans at large only trust rapists and molesters less than us. Ironically we are generally more educated and agreeable. Religion is anything but rational though.
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19-01-2012, 09:53 PM
RE: A Letter to the Religious
(19-01-2012 09:36 PM)The Roof Wrote:  I'm just tired of all the discontent thrown in our general direction. Americans at large only trust rapists and molesters less than us. Ironically we are generally more educated and agreeable. Religion is anything but rational though.

The "Who doesn't belong in America pole"
Jews 7.6%
New Immagrants 12.5%
Conservative Christians 13.5%
Hispanics 20.0%
Homosexuals 22.6%
Muslims 26.3%
Atheists 40.0%

We're number 1.
Atheist are not trusted and are seen as immoral because the religious base their morals on god given revelation. No god for them means no morals.
Yep, their idiots.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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19-01-2012, 09:58 PM
RE: A Letter to the Religious
(19-01-2012 09:53 PM)Thomas Wrote:  
(19-01-2012 09:36 PM)The Roof Wrote:  I'm just tired of all the discontent thrown in our general direction. Americans at large only trust rapists and molesters less than us. Ironically we are generally more educated and agreeable. Religion is anything but rational though.

The "Who doesn't belong in America pole"
Jews 7.6%
New Immagrants 12.5%
Conservative Christians 13.5%
Hispanics 20.0%
Homosexuals 22.6%
Muslims 26.3%
Atheists 40.0%

We're number 1.
Atheist are not trusted and are seen as immoral because the religious base their morals on god given revelation. No god for them means no morals.
Yep, their idiots.

Yep. I'll notice often when I'm having a discussion even with a person who doesn't subscribe to organized religion, they'll follow their opinions against religion by a "Don't worry, I believe in god though." A friend who didn't know I was an atheist once said "Don't worry, I'm not an atheist or anything."

It's really annoying how some people treat it as a derogatory word.
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19-01-2012, 10:01 PM
RE: A Letter to the Religious
(19-01-2012 09:58 PM)Ben Wrote:  It's really annoying how some people treat it as a derogatory word.

You would too if you were taught by the pastors and preachers that we are the absolute worst sin of sinners. When people are taught to not think for themselves and then told how to think about us without giving us the chance to even explain ourselves, then yeah, we're pure evil.
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19-01-2012, 10:09 PM
RE: A Letter to the Religious
That's the biggest problem with religion. It takes away all the curiosity in people. The biggest questions in life are explained away with that one small word of "God." So many sit in that comfortable chair of religion, saying they have all the answers through the wisdom of an ancient book. All the while, they whither away. Life is curiosity, self discovery. Life is looking challenges to your view of the world in the face and coming out the stronger after you have changed. Religion is too easy. Neatly packaged little answers to all of the problems and difficulties in life.

They are ruled by their fears of not knowing. Why chase the difficult answers when you can take what is handed to you on a silver platter? All you need to do is kneel and say "Amen."
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19-01-2012, 10:17 PM
RE: A Letter to the Religious
(19-01-2012 10:01 PM)Logisch Wrote:  
(19-01-2012 09:58 PM)Ben Wrote:  It's really annoying how some people treat it as a derogatory word.

You would too if you were taught by the pastors and preachers that we are the absolute worst sin of sinners. When people are taught to not think for themselves and then told how to think about us without giving us the chance to even explain ourselves, then yeah, we're pure evil.

Saint Thomas Aquinas made the argument that if you would put a child molester or murderer to death, then the heretic should be as well. The murderer may kill you or the molester may hurt your child in this life, but they will be ok in the afterlife. The heretic will get your child condemned for eternity as a nonbeliever. The heretic is worse than anything else on the planet.

If you do believe in god, you must hate the heretic. A saint says so.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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