Disbelief is Best?

A little while ago I watched the Bill Maher documentary (mockumentary?) Religulous.  He essentially takes a look at the Big Three religions and points out just how silly their literal beliefs are.  He talks to a Vatican priest who thinks that most Christian beliefs are ridiculous, a Muslim rapper from the UK who sings about planning bombings, a Jewish rabbi who thinks the Holocaust wasn’t all that bad, and some true believers at Florida’s Holy Land Experience.  Maher pokes fun at them all, but also seems to be truly trying to understand why people need to believe is some big, invisible being in the sky.  But what seems like a genuine attempt at understanding is ruined when, at the end of the movie, he makes a plea for us all to give up our faiths and be rational.

Watching this tied into something else I’ve experienced lately: atheist ads on the TTC.  Jen talked about them a little while ago on her blog here.  You can also read more about the campaign at AtheistBus.ca.  The ads essentially say “There is probably no god, so stop worrying and enjoy life.”  I don’t think Bill Maher could have said it better.

Now, I’m not an atheist, nor do I follow one of the Big Three religions.  I belong to a small faith, which I practice quietly.  I don’t think one’s religious views, or lack there of, should be advertised to the world.  Wear a small cross if it brings you comfort, or carry the Koran in you backpack if you need to.  But please, please, please, keep your faith to yourself.  We all have our own path to walk, and we will find it when the time is right.  And if you aren’t religious yourself, I feel that you have no right to make fun of or put down people who are.  You may not need religion, and that’s fine.  We all have our own ways of coping with the world.

I would also love for everyone to keep religion out of mailing lists that deal with purely secular matters.  When I’m reading your question about cross stitch or knitting, don’t sign off by telling me to walk with Jesus or what-have-you.  It is not appropriate.  (I’m also annoyed when people assume everyone is American.  The Internet is worldwide!!)

I’ve got more thinking to do about this.  I recognize atheism as a valid point of view, but I just can’t get past their disdain of those who choose to follow a religion.


4 Responses

  1. SacredAngel says:

    A part of most religions is to share it with others. You know you have found this wonderful great thing that helps you through life….pass it around.

    Same thing goes with atheism. Would you be as offended if someone closed crafting mailing lists with Blessed Be?

    I’m Pagan and I know it. If it helps someone to tell me to walk with God go for it.

  2. An Ordinary Believer says:

    I’m a believer in Christ. Raised in the Biblebelt and most certainly a convenient Christian. Our faith teachs us to make the word available… it doesn’t say to shove it down people’s throats, bash gays, no reasearch on stem cells or anything like that. To me abortion is a womans decision… and only one womans decision. I could never vote to take away any freedom to choose in that regard although every life is valuable to me.

    As far as mailing lists and showing people you are a Christian… well… we are supposed to do that by example but the modern world poses many challenges to that and not all of us are gifted enough to come through a written conversation as a Christian.

    Two things I find inmportant are tolerance and conviction. Tolerance to let people do as they choose and not judge on silly things like what they put on a mailing list and yes… I do judge and I fail at Christian teaching but I do try. And the most important to me is conviction. Belief. Faith. Whatever you choose of freewill to believe then believe in it with conviction… not with half a heart. My faith does waver. I believe there are pagan religions but that is all someone else’s problem as I do not interfere in their right to believe what they choose. That is between their God and them or if they are the center of their universe then it is only their choice as there is no God to argue with as far as they are concerned.

    I choose to believe in something higher than myself and I choose to devote my life to trying to do it right. I will fail many times but I will have some wonderful victories along the way!

  3. Silverlotus says:

    Thanks for your thoughts, SacredAngel. I do see your point, and agree to a certain extent.

    And, yep, I don’t want to see Blessed Be closing an email for a non-religious mailing list.

  4. Silverlotus says:

    Thank you, An Ordinary Believer. I don’t see anything wrong at all leading by example. I think my problem comes when people try to advertise what example it is they are trying to set, especially when they are actually failing.

    I’m no paragon of virtue, so in some ways it bothers me to even put my thoughts out like this. Like I said, I’m trying to sort out how I feel.