Religion is Ridiculous

religion is ridiculous

 

 

I completely admit that I think religion, “believing,” church, etc. is totally ridiculous. I also think “believing” is weak. I’m trying to figure out how to even start this post because I have so much going through my head right now I can’t even get my thoughts straight!

            I suppose the first thing I should say, in case you hadn’t already figured it out, is that I am what you would call a “non-believer.” Looking back, I’ve never really believed in god or religion even though I was raised in a very Italian Catholic family. In fact, many people in my family are quite religious, but this doesn’t change my opinion on the matter. I love and respect everyone in my family, but I just don’t get the whole belief thing.

            Christians are asked to believe in a god that created the universe, created the heavens and the earth, created man and animal… yet does no one ever wonder who created this supposed ‘god?’ That is a question I asked my religion teacher and parents at the very young age of 6. (. I have always been the type of person that questions everything. The answer I was given (“god always was and always will be”) not only was not acceptable to me, but it also definitely did not answer my question. That answer is a cop-out because no one has an answer!

            So you’re telling me that I should believe in something that has absolutely no scientific proof of actually existing? That I should put all my faith into this thing that no one has ever seen or touched? That this entity controls what happens in our lives and on this earth? That I should pray to this entity to forgive my “sins,” cure illness, ease suffering? Are you friggin’ kidding me?

            Sorry, but no. I’m much more intelligent and logical than that, thank you very much. I don’t believe in things that don’t make sense and can’t be proven and can’t be seen with my own eyes. Believing is for pussies who are too afraid to take control of their own lives and take responsibility for themselves and their actions. It’s for people who are too afraid to see things for how they really are because you’re also telling me I should believe and have faith in an entity that would allow such suffering to exist. You want me to believe and have faith in something that would allow: AIDS and other horrible diseases to exist, kids to suffer and die from cancer, people to be homeless and starving, babies to be born with horrible birth defects, parents to die and leave young children alone and scared, or… should I keep on going?

            This god allows all of this pain and suffering to be all around us, yet this is also the same god people pray to to take this pain and suffering away or at least to lessen it? Yeah. That makes a ton of sense! Like I said, I’m far too logical to believe any of that crap. I just can’t wrap my head around any of that and I sure as hell can’t figure out how anyone else has been able to for centuries. Maybe I’m the weird one, and that’s fine. How could centuries of people be wrong, right?

Oh wait. I can answer that question- it’s called the crowd mentality. One person or persons, a very long time ago, decided to write a book and call it The Bible. Somehow this book became the be-all, end-all of everything that people should believe and what they should base their lives on. Suddenly, the story of a man named Jesus became THE story and this man became the person we should put all of our faith in. Seriously?

Isn’t it funny how in some situations all of the things he supposedly did would be considered magic (and black magic by some), but for the convenience of the bible they were considered ‘miracles?’ We are supposed to believe that on the 3rd day he rose again. Isn’t this the same as David Copperfield doing his disappearing act which is an illusion?! I’m quite sure Jesus did not actually die and rise again and drift off to heaven to be seated next his is father, god, who never actually even had intercourse to create him. Do you see how NONE of this makes any sense?!

And don’t tell me the bible isn’t meant to be taken literally- I know that! BUT… isn’t it also funny how people get to decide what should be taken literally and what should not based on what point they are trying to prove? Sorry, no again. It doesn’t work that way. You either believe or you don’t- it doesn’t get to be a matter of convenience. Like all these morons out there right now quoting the bible to oppose gay rights and gay marriage. Quoting the bible and saying we need to heed god’s word and it’s wrong “because the bible says so.” But then are we seriously meant to believe that Moses actually parted the Red Sea? No! This is a metaphor for being able to overcome adversity; overcome whatever obstacle is standing in the way of what our goals are.

Again, some people totally take this literally and believe that everything written in the bible is truth so let’s talk about the beloved story of Noah and the Ark for a second. We are to believe that one day, god got really pissed off at how everyone was acting, so he decided to essentially murder everyone on the earth except Noah and his family because they were the only ones so amazingly good that they could be spared. Then Noah was instructed to build an ark that was big enough to hold his family plus 2 animals from every species. Yes, I bet that isn’t an impossible feat! And somehow all of these animals instinctually knew to travel to said ark and were all able to get to the ark from all over the world. Yup- another totally possible thing! Then we are to believe that it rained for 40 days and 40 nights and at the end there was a lovely rainbow meant to be a symbol that god would never destroy the earth with a flood ever again. Well, gee thanks. I don’t have to be afraid of being drowned to death by this thing we are supposed to have faith in, but it could be any day now that he decides to murder all of us in some other way! Great.

But wait, I’m not done with good ol’ Noah just yet. We are also, from this story, supposed to take away that Noah and his family were spared so that the human race could continue and learn from the mistakes of their poor, murdered ancestors. Now how exactly was that supposed to happen? Last time I checked, the bible also renounced incest (the same way it renounces homosexuality). But how could the human race continue without incest if the only people spared were Noah, his wife, and their children? Somewhere along the line, for the human race to live on, Noah had to have sex with his daughters, his wife had to have sex with her sons, and the siblings needed to get it on with each other. I’m sorry. Am I the only one that thinks that is totally disgusting? Because now I realize I am a product of incest because my theory can also be applied to Adam and Eve. Gross! You also can’t tell me that whatever people were doing back then was bad enough to warrant a complete murder and obliteration of the whole world, but the shit going on in present day isn’t as bad that we are all left to live happily with our beliefs and faith? Come on now!!

I could go on and on and on about so many of the other ludicrous stories in the bible that so many take as literal, but I have so many other points to make! Some people are so blinded by faith, beliefs, and religion that they are unable to truly live their own lives and make their own decisions. In fact, they really constantly live in fear if you really think about it. They fear god and his wrath, they fear sinning and making biblical mistakes. How is living in fear any way to really live? I honestly get nauseous when I read/hear some of the wacky things people say in the name of religion. My eyes are constantly rolling. I don’t need to pray or “give it up to god.” What I need to do is take action in my own life- that’s what will get things done!

Believe it or not, I work as an independent distributor for a company that is biblically based. I continue to work for said company because I like the products and I make good money so I just ignore (and eye roll) all the religious crap that people spew. I also do a lot of laughing at people. Not so much in a mean way, but more in a “are you fucking serious right now” kind of way. Let me give you an example, if someone is having trouble in their business they will ask for prayers to get their business going again. Sorry, it’s not praying that you need to do- it’s called get off your ass and work for it! If someone didn’t make the money they expected during an event, people will offer up support by saying shit like, “don’t worry. It will get better and remember it’s not our business anyway, it’s god’s business.” What the fuck is that supposed to mean? Sorry again. It is MY business. I am the one doing all of the work needed to be successful. It sure as hell isn’t god doing the work! Then when someone has a good event, they will write things like, “Praise the lord. I thank our savior for blessing me in my business.” Again, are you fucking kidding me? Thank yourself for all the hard work you put in- give yourself some damn credit! Thank the people who made purchases- they are the ones that helped to make you money. It had nothing to do with god! I just don’t get it.

Recently, I had a friend who didn’t realize I am of the non-believing variety of humans. She asked me how I could not believe. My response was, “you don’t want to hear my answer because you may not like me at the end of it.” She is a VERY religious person who is thinking about leaving her very good job to become a pastor because she believes she is being called to do god’s work. I love her dearly, but I did an invisible eye roll when I heard that one. Of course, she pushed a bit, so I gave her my very, very short answer which was, “I don’t believe in things that can’t be proven and no one can prove that god exists.” Her response, which I expected and have heard before, was, “but you can’t prove that he doesn’t exist either.” I just left it at that because I was, up until that point, having a good time and didn’t want to get into a religious debate. But… had I answered her, all I would have said is, “just the absence of proof that he doesn’t exist, is proof that he actually does not exist.” It doesn’t take a philosopher to figure that one out.

I also can’t stand how so many supposed religious people are so holier than though when it comes to their supposed morality. So many religious freaks are the most immoral of people. I don’t need religion, faith, or to believe to be moral. Morality is about knowing right from wrong and about being a good person. I am a very moral and ethical person and it has nothing at all to do with religion. I am a good person and I am a nice person (now don’t get me wrong, I can turn mean and be a bitch if I need to). I am also pretty happy, satisfied, and fulfilled so don’t tell me I need religion in my life to “make my life more worthwhile.” I should also clarify, that I am not a devil worshiper as some of you reading this may think. In fact, I don’t even believe in the devil or in hell. I don’t think there could be anything worse than the hell that is everyday life. If there were something worse, then that would just be cruel- and wouldn’t that lead me back to my original point that there can’t be a god because of all the terrible things that exist in this world and why would anyone believe in and/or pray to something that would allow such things to exist?

So there you have it. I could keep going, believe me, but it seems that my point has come full circle.

{I have no problem with comments on this, but please, don’t try to religify me or “educate” me, or to change my mind. It won’t work; just the same way that I won’t be able to change your mind. People are strong in their beliefs. And you know what? If you are going to have strong and real beliefs about something, then that is great, and you should hold to them and not allow them to be changed (even if I think what you believe is silly and weak). Admit to your beliefs and hold on to them- it definitely makes you a more credible person.}

 

            

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Raising Kids when Parents Have Opposing Religious Views

ImagePeople are constantly raising kids in two religion households. I have friends where one spouse is Christian and the other is Jewish and they make it work. What about those couples who have totally opposing religious views, where one spouse believes in god and the other does not? That is something that you rarely read about and a subject that I know about first hand. My husband is a Bible reading, church going Christian and I, on the other hand, do not ascribe to any religion, nor do I believe that god can exist.

I’m sure there are plenty of you reading this right now who are totally shocked and probably some of you are even disgusted that I would admit such a thing. I get this reaction often, but I’m not ashamed of being Agnostic. You have your beliefs and I have mine. That’s the beauty of being an American- we have the freedom to believe what we want and should be able to do so without persecution or judgment.

The first questions people usually ask me are, “what do you tell your kids?” or “what does your husband think of that?” But what people really want to know, but usually don’t ask is, “were you raised to be an Agnostic?” The answer to that question is, no, I was not raised in an Agnostic family. On the contrary, I was raised in a very Catholic family. I made my First Holy Communion and I was Confirmed. I attended church school from the time I was 6 until I was 16. We attended church every Sunday and every holy day. When I tell people this they always wonder how I ended up an Agnostic and how my parents feel about it. Religion was basically forced one me and I was given no choice about it as long as I lived with my parents. When I went off to college I was able to more freely express my different views. I can’t say they were very happy about it, but they still loved me and respected that I had my own view of things because they raised me to be an independent thinker and that’s certainly what I am.

There isn’t any one thing that made me question god and religion; it is something I have always questioned. When I was 6 and in my first year of church school, I asked my teacher, “If god made us, who made god?” She thought my father had put me up to asking that question to try to stump her because they were friends and my father was always a bit of a joker. When she told my father about my question and her suspicion that he had put me up to it, my father let her know that had come directly from me (and that’s when I suspect my parents knew they were in trouble!). My parent’s answer to my question was, “god always was and always will be.” I just didn’t buy that. I have always questioned everything and if someone can’t give me an answer that can be proven, then I probably won’t believe it. That’s just who I am and how I have always been.  

With regard to what my husband thinks, I was honest with him right from the beginning. Prior to our first date we had been talking on the phone and he told me he was attending Bible study classes. It was clear to me then that religion was a very important part of his life. We went on our first date and it was going well and I knew I wanted there to be a second date. I also knew if we were to have any kind of future together, that I needed to be honest with him so I brought it up on our first date. I told him my religious views, or lack thereof, and he was fine with it. He said he had dated other girls with different religious views and from different religions and my situation was no different. I definitely knew I liked this guy and that he was the kind of open-minded, non-judgmental man I had been looking for.

Fast forward to when we started talking about getting married and having kids. This is an important conversation to have before you walk down that aisle and commit to spending your lives together. Religion can tear couples apart, especially when it comes to raising kids, so have this conversation early on. This is not a conversation that should be saved for the last minute. When we had been married a year and half we decided it was time to start trying to expand our family. I knew we needed to revisit the conversation about religion we had had a couple of years earlier, before I got pregnant.

I know religion is something that is very important to my husband and I wouldn’t deny it to my children. I was raised with religion, but I was also raised to be an independent thinker and this is what I wanted for my children. I was perfectly fine with raising my kids to be Lutheran like my husband. To say that my husband was relieved to hear this would be an understatement! We decided that my husband would be “in charge” of the religious portion of the child rearing, but I also made it clear that I was going to be honest with them about my views being different. I was not going to sing religious songs with them, or read religious books to them, or pray with them, and I wouldn’t participate in saying grace at the table. This would go against everything I believe (or do not believe) and would make me a hypocrite and that is not something I was willing to do. Again, my husband understood this, respected this, and accepted this- one of the many reasons why I love this man!

We baptized both of our boys in my husband’s Lutheran church and my husband takes our oldest son to church with him when he has time to go. He has taught him to say prayers before bed and to say grace at dinner. He sings Jesus Loves Me to both of my boys at bedtime. This all makes me a bit uncomfortable because the whole idea of all of this kind of makes my skin crawl, but I don’t say anything because I know it’s important to him.

My oldest has asked me why I don’t say grace and right now I just tell him, “…because I believe in different things from Daddy so I don’t say grace.” There have also been occasions when I have put him to bed and he has asked me to sing Jesus Loves Me to him or to say prayers and, again, I just explain that I don’t say prayers or sing that song because I don’t believe the same things as Daddy. This appeases him right now, but I know as he gets older and more inquisitive than he is already, he will ask more questions. I will always be truthful with him and I will continue to tell him that I don’t believe the same things as his father and that that is okay. I will explain to him that people believe different things all the time and we have to respect each other even if we believe different things. If my children continue to believe in Christianity, then that is fine. If they question religion and the existence of god, then that is okay too. I will force nothing on them as it was forced on to me. If they don’t want to go to church, then I am not going to make them go. If they don’t want to say grace, I am not going to make them.

The hardest part in all of this has been with my in-laws. My mother respects how we have decided to raise our children. She has been supportive of our decision, and respects us enough as adults and parents, to make decisions regarding our children. My father passed away 11 years ago, but I know he would have been supportive too. With my in-laws it’s another story all together. They are ultra-religious. My mother-in-law is constantly giving my kids (and my husband for that matter) religious gifts- books, CD’s, etc. They are also constantly making comments about my husband not taking the kids to church enough. They also insist that we say grace at every meal and hold hands while doing so, even though they are in our house. This drives me totally crazy, but I just keep my mouth shut in order to keep the peace. I accept the gifts and then put them away somewhere. The kids don’t notice, nor do they care, because they have plenty of other things to use. My husband has told his mother to please refrain from religious gifts because it makes me uncomfortable and we are in agreement about how to raise our kids, but she doesn’t listen so his attitude about it now is that if she wants to keep wasting her money, then so be it.

We are comfortable as a couple on how we have chosen to raise our kids with regard to religion. We had conversations early on and continue to do so as new things arise. It is not impossible, nor is it difficult to raise kids when the parents have opposing religious views. It just takes honesty and open lines of communication. We are raising our kids to be honest, caring, polite, respectful, moral, and ethical people regardless of religious beliefs and that is what is truly important. You don’t need religion or a belief in god to be a good person and I am prime example of that.