It has often been remarked by people that I have offended along the way of my journey towards atheism that I am an asshole. An insufferable, miserable, misanthropic, cynical, surly asshole. Mind you, these are all adjectives that I would indeed use to describe myself at times, so I have to wonder if maybe there isn't a ring of truth to these accusations. You see, I, as one theist remarked on another forum, "have absolutely no concept of sanctity". This is true. I do not believe that any one thing can be more holy or sacred than another, if indeed anything can be classified as such. This applies to all things in my life, and I shall attempt to explain my reasoning behind this apparently controversial mindset. When it comes to religion especially, I hear it proclaimed that I should "respect so and so's beliefs", simply because so and so believes in them. This is as absurd a notion as I have ever encountered. If I were to tell you that I believe that I can fly and walk through solid objects because a magical fairy endowed me with physics-bending powers, but they only work if I stand on my head for three hours hence, and I truly believed what I was saying....would you respect those statements? Of course you wouldn't! You would call the men in white coats to come and get me because I had quite obviously gone mad. So, in the same vein, why should I give any clearance whatsoever to the belief that an imaginary entity had to sacrifice himself to save humankind from a condition that he himself caused by not creating humans perfect in the first place, as he should have been able to do, being perfect himself and all? Why should I lend any credence to the belief that there are djinns in the desert, waiting to confound me (Islam)? Why should I believe that there is a spiritual benefit to cutting off the tip of my penis at birth? Granted, there is indeed a physical one, but that doesn't figure into god's plan, apparently. Why should I give any respect to the belief that torture, rape, murder, pillaging, incest, genocide, infanticide, fratricide, and many other "cides" are all part of a divine plan? The simple answer is that I don't. When someone spouts off one of these crazy ideas I will usually confront them on it, because the honest truth is that religion kills. Pure and simple: religion kills. Not just individuals, but entire civilizations have been eradicated by religion. And we should respect it? Fuck that. We need to be assholes. We need to be those guys/girls that piss people off because we won't be backed down by "goddidit". We need to be voices of reason in a time of chaos. Now can you respect that?