Tuesday, 1 January 2013

I am a bad Christian

So let's start 2013 with a highly personal and possibly controversial posting. We shall see how this sits with some people...

As I get older, my tolerance for religion and those that believe in God has faded rather quickly. I have long felt that, for someone to give their life to a fantasy based on ancient rumours just baffles me. And therefore, I know that my respect for those that follow religion has reach a low. However. I do recognise that this makes me a bad person and I should get over myself and be more understanding.  I have taken it all a bit far.

It makes me a bad person because I should appreciate their opinions, even if I think their views are ludicrous, misguided and unsound. I know a couple of people that have a faith and their religion doesn't and shouldn't influence me, but deep down it does at the moment. Their faith gives them strength which can be a good thing.

Despite the inherent hatred and mistrust built into most religion's rules, there are some valid "good news aims for life". You can't argue with teachings saying that we should really try to be nice to each other (maybe Muslims and Jewish neighbours should remind themselves of that) and that sharing and caring will always be needed. So let's all follow the teachings of Jesus Christ as he seemed to be a nice guy and had some good things to say (and no, he didn't walk on water!).

You see, for me religion is just fantasy and superstition based on centuries of misinformed guesswork and a need for an answer to the big questions. Despite no proof and personal opinions influencing religion over many generations, people believe in this fantasy. Surely there is no difference between believing in Fairies, Santa Claus and believing in a God that provides zero proof of existence.  It's all blind faith.

I should respect views other than my own; even the strange practice of praying must be overlooked (let's face it, praying has never ever ever made a difference and deep down, people know that).  And those that thank their God, with the belief that "he" has helped them win a sports game or to cook a meal are conveniently forgetting that if he really had those super powers, he would not have allowed a child to die from cancer.
I'm getting off the topic now... Although I don't believe, I really shouldn't see people that DO believe as fools.  With zero proof, ANYTHING could be the truth and so I should respect their choices.
I have no problem with broad teachings of being good to your fellow man, so let's follow those rules even if we don't "believe".

So I am now actively looking to be more broadminded and respectful.  It will make me happier I am sure and allow me to overlook what I have seen as other peoples failings.


  1. A rich topic for discussion, Stephen.

    I know that when you say in para 3 that your non-belief "makes me a "bad person" you are only quoting what a significant number of 'believers' would think of you. And it's true that they would think that of you - and of many like us.

    Just two of many things on this topic that irk me are:-

    1)[You actually touch on this yourself above] Why are many non-believers so forward in professing 'DEEP RESPECT' for the opinions of Christians, Muslims etc, when I've yet to hear of any similar 'respect' being aimed in the other direction. I may respect a particular individual for being a human being, as I might any other person, but why respect someone for being a member of the BNP, or even the Conservative Party - or ANY other political party? I see no difference. They are both only opinions.

    2) Why do so many theists arrogantly talk as though we ALL believe (or ought to believe) in THEIR notion of a Supreme Being, that is if we believe in one at all? A couple of years ago we had one of the Anglican Church's more evangelically-inclined bishops calling on "all homosexuals to repent!"
    And then a few years ago we had 'The Holy Father' himself urging scientists "not to seek to get too close to the mind of God'" (whatever that means!) - I think a recent survey in America showed that over 90% of scientists in that country were avowed atheists! What a nerve these religious figureheads have!

    Anyway, having got that off my chest - and there's such a lot still down there - let's just say that you and I agree. As you say at the end of your posting, do strive to be broadminded yourself. Nothing wrong with that. But as for being respectful, well, sometimes it's easy to overdo it and ignore the fact that there's none coming the other way.

  2. When religious people demand respect for their views, often what they want is a certain kind of *deference* instead: we must not criticise their views, though they may well not be backward in criticising ours; their views must be given *extra* weight because, after all, 'this is a Christian country'; if a gay hotelier were to turn away a religious person, that would be shocking persecution, but for a Christian hotelier to turn away a gay couple is (mis)represented by them as mere obedience to conscience and expression of Christian love. They suggest that only they have genuine consciences, genuine morality; the rest of us have only whims and current opinion, so naturally our views take second place. (They, of course, rely on what are, by the same token, God's whims.) They believe they have a guarantee of correctness in a way that the rest of us don't, so they must prevail.

    You're not a bad person. They've just got you thinking you are because you don't give them, the deference they look for.