Prince Charles puts on his his oversized “foot-in-mouth” shoes and wades into religion. Stomping across Christianity and Islam all he ends up with is a huge amount of sh*t on his shoes. He talks about “building bridges” between faiths because the constant refrain that all religions share more than they differ on. Seems strange because all beliefs demand that they are the only true faith and we should beware “false gods”. Charles’s contribution just reinforces my opinion that the separation of church and state is long overdue.
To believe in God is up to you as an individual – faith is a personal thing – but if you believe in one God then you are rejecting thousands and thousands of others. There are over four thousand strands of religion and you found the right one did you? Wow, you’re good. And within those there are numerous Gods that exists – just think of the Roman or Greek ones and how many they are in number. Look at the in-fighting between those in the same branch of religion of Islam in the Middle East as the Sunnis version of Islam is right as opposed to Shias all because of an argument that started 1400 years ago; or that between the Catholics and Protestants in Christianity they believe in the same god but different versions of the canon. If you stand back and look at any of it there is little within religion that passes the common sense test. Effectively the protestant faith was an excuse for a King to get a divorce – where’s the holy spirit and faith in that?
I’m not saying science holds all the answers but it’s a damn sight more reliable and tangible than the made up words of those who wrote down stories years after they are claimed to have happened. And I accept that faith doesn’t need proof – by definition it means you believe in the word of God – but how can this be realistically adhered to? Look at the Old Testament and write down all the “rules” that exists and the pontificating talking heads on Fox and the right-wing Christian movement in America that decry Gay Marriage or Abortion are the same people who are no longer stoning adulterers to death or eat “unclean” animals.
And that’s my issue with religion in a nutshell – that these are historical texts that hold no sway in the modern world. Our basic morals are held in them but they are largely common sense: don’t steal, don’t cheat, don’t steal. No-one (sane) disagrees with this and we don’t need “sacred” texts and churches/temples/mosques to do that. We will never build bridges between religions because they all move in their own orbit. Their foundations are never going to meet. A quick look back through history reads of each religion has picked a fight with another and has persecuted those living in another’s country.
The current trend in the US of the far right and Tea Party members that stand with their guns and bibles in front of the Stars and Stripes flag and express their passion for their religion and their country is no different to an Islamic woman doing the same – they are both deliberately provocative and using religion in a negative way.
It may seem ironic that me claiming I’m right on this is no different to each religion claiming they have the truth on their side, but I’m not asking for money, for you to give your life, to abstain from anything, to follow rules or anything else. Just open you eyes, ears and mind and you will see the capacity that the human race actually has and you’ll forget all these false gods and see that we are all equal and don’t need to bow down before anyone at all.
Stephen Fry was bang on the money by stating he would challenge God if he ever made it to the pearly gates on all the horrors he “created” on earth. Look at the pain and suffering of millions around the world. If there is a God, then he f*cked off a long time ago – we were an experiment that has failed miserably in his eyes. We are the only ones that can change the world we live in – no saviour to appear and “save” us. This is it. I always find it strange that intelligent people are willing to ignore all the evidence that shows religion for what it is, but then there are non-religious people who believe in the Horoscope or fraudulent psychics who soak your money up for a lie.
We need to banish religion from our politics and schools. Religion as a thing being “preached” should never be compulsory. Religion and State must be separate. I’m fully supportive that children are educated about world religions so ignorance is reduced but there is no place for it in Primary or Secondary school.
It’s difficult to get into the deeper ins and outs of this issue in a blog but religion really does rile me and the blinkered way that so many stumble through life is a huge concern to me. And I’m not speaking from a position of ignorance because I have read the bible, I was made to go to Sunday School as a kid and then continued with Youth Fellowship. As a young teenager I got interested in the news and the more I watched and researched issues, the more the idea of a god of any kind became a ludicrous possibility.
Theologians and religious people continually dismiss atheists like me claiming we are ignorant, childish and “missing the point” but I am looking beyond a singular view of the world. I want to see what the world, nature, science and other humans can do – religion doesn’t do that. It stifles, reduces and encourages things to be dismissed because it doesn’t fit what was put in a book millennia ago.
Show me the world and I see everything; show a person of faith the world and they look past it for an answer or explanation for it.