So my family frequently asks me why I'm "so hard on religion" or have such an active dislike for it.
Well, there's a lot of reasons. And those reasons keep getting reinforced.
Religion is frequently used as an excuse not to think through moral or political or social issues for yourself. The answer is so clear - plain as day, so long as you read the Bible/the Koran/whathaveyou from the right perspective.
The obvious thing to cite right now would be the recent California court decision on gay marriage, but I knew that one was coming. There was a law banning it in this state. It's been a law for a while. Gavin Newsome was breaking the law, bless his heart. I agree with him wholeheartedly, but that doesn't change the law. Other things have to happen for that to occur. Meanwhile, it was a grand and beautiful gesture that reignited the dialogue.
No, what I cite today are other things, like the woman in South Carolina
, who wanted to be a good citizen and participate in the local council. I applaud her for doing so. It's something most of us (myself included) are just "too busy" to bother doing. She's a Wiccan though, and found it a bit uncomfortable by having every meeting begin with a group prayer ending in “In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.” She asked to be considered. She asked to have just that part left out. Eventually, after the mayor told her that “This is the way we’ve always done things, and we’re not going to change,” she eventually sued the city. She won. This is all fine. People don't like change. Sometimes change has to be enforced. It's never fun. But none of this bothers me.
The part that bothers me is that the good "Christian" folks of the town have "killed her cat and hanged its gutted body" on her porch and "put sand in the gas tank of her truck." This from a community that does everything in the name of Jesus Christ. This sort of thing is evil perpetrated in the name of religion, backed up by the "our way, or the highway" mentality of religious groups.
Again, the golden rule is so simple, and remediates so many ills: Treat others as you wish to be treated.
I'm looking forward to picking up a copy of Sam Harris'
new book, "The End of Faith." Meanwhile, he wrote a pretty good article
for the LA Times. Religion is not the answer. It's the enemy. I have no problem with spirituality or a belief in a god or many gods. I do have a problem with organized, institutionalized religion. When one group tries to remake the world in the image of their religion, it can only end in pain for everyone else, because we will never ever ever agree on a global level about what is the one true faith. Therefore, no faith should be the basis for social or political policy. And yet, we elected the village idiot
who is out there on a "mission"
to do just that, and who treats everything as a "crusade"