Tuesday, May 07, 2013

(Don't) Gimme That Old Time Religion ...

It is said that there are two subjects one should never discuss at dinner (or, indeed, at many other times): politics and religion. This can make it difficult to have a conversation with a far-right Republican, but given the quality of discourse on both sides of the political and religious divide, this may not be a bad thing.

Those of you who have been reading this blog for any length of time know that I am not a conventionally religious person. It's a worldview that I've come to over the decades as I've watched the hideous things done in the name of religion ... in the name of the idea that anyone who doesn't believe this way and no other is automatically bad (at best) or liable to be killed outright (at worst). You can read some of my earlier diatribes here and here if you're so inclined.

Consider this recent event: At Least 27 Dead in Bangladesh Blasphemy Law Rioting. Yes, hysterical mobs in Dakka, Bangladesh, rioted and murdered dozens of people, insisting on the imposition of an anti-blasphemy law that would punish persons who defame Islam with death.

Consider also the disgusting, widely-condemned bigotry of the Westboro Baptist Church, the members of which press their belief in what they believe is the sin of homosexuality by demonstrating at the funerals of people who have nothing at all to do with the subject.

The linkage of deeply fundamentalist religion and violence was explored in this compilation of articles and studies at Religion Link.

Bottom line: to all too many people, religion is not a guiding philosophy or an exhortation to "love one another as I have loved you."* It's an excuse to draw wide red lines between people and whip up hatred of "the other."

So thanks, but don't bother giving me that old-time religion. Especially if you think it empowers you to kill me if I choose not to believe your version of it. With all the problems we have in the world, this is one we just don't need.

Have a good day. Live the Golden Rule. It's all you really need.

More thoughts coming.


* John 15:12.


eViL pOp TaRt said...

The sentiment in the second cartoon shuold be the Eleventh Commandment.

Mike said...

I read something recently about the buddhists killing muslims for whatever reason.

Insane Penguin said...

Most religions are anti-sex, for some reason. But they manage to have pervy clerics.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

WBC actually picketed George Jones's funeral.