On Sunday mornings, as I awake to the majestic sounds of Isla Vista, the last possible thing on my mind is getting dressed, cruising over to the nearest place of worship, getting on my knees in a sign submission and murmuring quiet supplications to an imaginary man in the sky.
That’s right — I’m talking about God, dammit. I mean Jesus fucking Christ. Budda, Allah, Shiva, Zeus, Mother Earth, ‘Something Greater’ or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Doesn’t matter. All of them are all the same.
So, if it’s the last thing that would even cross my mind, why in the name of all things frozen yogurt am I wasting my time writing this opinion piece during my Sunday off?
Well, first and foremost, because I care about the place I live and the place my children will live.
I care about the fact that my country, which claims a separation of church and state, finds its government ass-up with God’s stiff member penetrating and plowing it mercilessly from behind non-stop.
I care that religion costs lives and civil rights everyday as it continues to espouse its dangerously intolerant ideologies and dogmas.
I care that some of the most powerful and influential people in this world believe in some kind of Armageddon or final Judgment Day at which point all souls will be reckoned before G-O-D. (These are people who have control over militaries, bio-chemical weapons and various bombing devices including nuclear warheads.)
I care that, as I walk to my classes at the publicly funded university I attend, I pass by people preaching to me “God’s word” and inviting me to convert (or burn in eternal hellfire).
Typically, I brush these daily annoyances off as simple misguided attempts, but lately I can’t help wondering when the world is going to snap out of this God-obsessed funk.
Now, let me be clear when I say this article is not meant to simply attack religion in a broad sense, but to call into question the very concept of God. I would be grossly incorrect to say with any confidence that there “is no God.” I have just as much proof of that as you do of his existence. But that’s the point: No one knows jack shit.
So why are so many people insistent upon it one way or the other? Well, fuck if I know, but what is clear is this: In the competition between “non-believers” and “believers,” atheists always get stuck with the short straw. Maybe you’ve heard about the British Humanist Society’s pro-atheist bus ads in London, which tote the slogan “There is probably no God, so stop worrying and enjoy your life.”
A similar campaign, which began in Ottawa (sponsored by the Freethought Association of Canada), recently had its ads pulled as a response to the outcry by the religious community. The case is currently under review by the OC Transportation Board.
Now consider that, as of Feb. 16, the Freedom From Religion Foundation debuted six new ads that will be displayed on buses here in the U.S. This is just another example of how the freedoms that are so freely granted to religious organizations are not shared by the secular community. I have a feeling this debate is really just starting.
So, what the fuck is my point? Simply this: We must recognize the extent to which our own tolerance of religious institutions is actually working to enable their continued control over our lives. Every time you let someone express their free religious opinion, wonder to yourself what their response would be if you were to express your own utter disbelief.
I don’t think for an instant I will have convinced someone in these 650-ish words that my opinion is correct. But it is my sincere hope that you pause and think. Don’t be afraid to say how you feel when faced by overwhelming ridiculousness. Bless you all.