I've gotten some feedback that my blog is coming across as derogatory. Let me make it clear: I have no intention of coming across otherwise, though perhaps I should clarify derogatory of beliefs, not of people who believe them. I believe global warming is caused by humans. I believe we need a public option in our health insurance system. I believe homosexuals should have the right to marry. Why would I take offense at someone who says I'm wrong about these things? You see pundits vehemently debating and criticizing both sides of all these issues, but religion is off limits?
I have no intention of playing nice with religion. To be blunt, I think it is poison and it needs to be eradicated if we're ever going to progress. I took the respectful, non-confrontational route for quite a while. I said in my first post, when I first left, I had no intention of trying to dissuade anyone else from their beliefs because even though I thought those beliefs were wrong, I didn't see what the harm was in letting them believe it. In fact, I could see that religion was a source of comfort and hope for some people. But I now believe that we are paying too high of a price for that solace.
The moderate religion of love many people enjoy today was only made possible because people have dared to question the establishment. Most contemporary religion has been culled down to only the nice parts, but it is still based on a lie. I don't think basing your life on a lie, no matter how lovely of a lie, is a healthy way to live, though you have that right if you so choose.
I've also heard, "Well, I'm more of a person of faith than a religious person. My faith makes me happy. How is that harming me?" I do get the difference between faith and religion, and you're probably right that your faith isn't harming you personally. I still say you're paying a high price for that solace, because it is contributing to a culture where we say it's okay to have unfounded, illogical beliefs. Where do we draw the line? If we have to respect your nice beliefs, do we also have to respect beliefs that homosexuality is evil, or that Black people are the cursed tribes of Ham, or that infidels must die?
I know some people are going to be upset by what I say, but it's a risk I'm willing to take because I know that for every person I offend, there's someone else out there desperately searching for answers, and I'm here for those who want out. Religion and faith might make some people happy, but unfortunately there are many more who are suffering because of their beliefs, and they don't know that there's another way or they're afraid of the consequences if they try to leave. I've only had my blog up for a couple of weeks and I've gotten messages from several people, thanking me for sharing my views and experience, because they felt trapped and alone.
To all the lost sheep, you are not alone, and you don't need a shepherd. There are butchers out there masquerading in shepherd's clothing. Better to stay lost than to return to a fold that will destroy you. Come into the light of reason. There's a better way.