I realize that it's been a while since I've posted. I'll blame it partly on my being busy, and partly on a high level of stress (although blogging is supposed to help that so it's kind of like a headache preventing sex). Mostly it's because I had a conversation with someone lately regarding my rather aggressive stance against religion. Not the position I take against muslim extremists, or against christians that hate gays, but the position I've taken against her. She is an extremely thoughtful, very level headed individual that doesn't do any of the bad things I've taken to blaming on religion. She supports gay marriage, she's not racist in any way that I can tell, she doesn't think I'm going to hell, and as far as I remember (lots of wine was involved) she supports the teaching of evolution.
She asked me a very simple question.
Why do I care?
Not, why do I care about what the catholic church has done lately? or why do I care about muslims in another country? or even why do I care that gw is an evangelical christian? Those are all easy to answer. But why do I care that she, a truly good hearted person who doesn't participate in or support any of the bullshit that I'm so against and who happens to take comfort in the idea that jesus is real and there is a god calls herself a christian? Why do I care about that?
When you get right down to it, I guess I don't. I can think of discussion points. Does her religious affiliation affect who she votes for? What will she teach her kids about spirituality? What will she teach her kids about me? But none of this is cause for me to change her mind about there being a god. In fact, she is exactly what I want every religious person to become.
I want everyone to be what I call a watered down christian. A "Homeopathic Christian" if you will. This is the christian that lives their life in basically a secular manner. They don't push religion on others, they don't pick and choose bible verses to justify their hatreds, and they don't use religion to get money from gullible people. They accept that the earth is 4-5 billion years old, evolution is a fact, jesus in not coming back, god did not cause nor could he have stopped any tsunami, he also did not magically find them a parking spot, and he doesn't care who's football team wins the superbowl. He is simply a comforting thought that they would rather not question too deeply lest the comfort disappear.
I don't believe that we will ever rid the world of religion. I'm not even sure that I want to. I know that most of my friends and I have spent some serious time contemplating morality, ethics, and religion. Most of the world isn't willing to put that time in. If we strip their religion from them but don't give them a replacement and don't get them to take the time, are we really going to be in a better world? I don't know. I'm not buying in to the fallacy that religion is the basis of morality. It's more that it's the easy version and people are lazy. The easy version will not be replaced with secular humanism. Too much time is invested in coming to the conclusion that this is where you stand.
So I wonder, will my blog, my letters to the editor, or my big mouth do any good? Am I actually hurting my own cause by being so vocal about this stuff? Some days I'm afraid the answer has been yes. I've upset people in discussions many a time. I've even made people cry (unintentionally). I've also received thankyou letters from people. One was hand written and signed only with a first name but thanked me for letting someone know that she was not alone in her thinking and that people with her beliefs actually have a name, deists.
I think in the long run, whether I do some good or some bad, I'll have to keep yapping like I always do...like it's optional.