Matthew 10 32 'So if anyone declares himself for me in the presence of human beings, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven. 33 But the one who disowns me in the presence of human beings, I will disown in the presence of my Father in heaven. 34 'Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth: it is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set son against father, daughter against mother, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law; 36 a person's enemies will be the members of his own household.
The above verse was pasted on facebook today by my mother, she's taking our debate very personally, even though I stopped it before things went too far. I thought anyways. She called me today to ask a favor of me and about three minutes in she was in tears. It makes me sad.
I love my mom. When I was religious she was an inspiration to me, she guided me down her path of faith with what I am sure was sincere belief that it was the right path. I don't blame her for my religious indoctrination, she was raised with the stuff by my grandmother, a strong and amazing woman who was also raised with religion as a part of life. It is just how it goes. Being Catholic was almost as matter of fact as being Hispanic.
But I do not have that faith anymore, and I respect my family too much to lie to them about it. I didn't leave my faith out of petty vengeance, I left because I do not believe. I left because I cannot maintain that faith, and I find no comfort in it. With no peace and no faith, what reason is left to adhere to religion? Tradition?
Unfortunately once the blinders were removed I could not unsee the atrocities religion has gotten away with. This sanctimonious bullshit shoved down our throats has the potential to make us do horrible, unforgivable things, like disowning your children or stoning them to death, or... come on, you know the stories.
I hear, even on this site, that I haven't given religion a fair shake. Oh, I'm shaking it alright, and all the fruit that falls from that tree is rotten.
Charity done in the name of ministry work, a X-tian group may build a school in the middle of Africa, but they'll make sure to spoon feed them this religious garbage. Hell they do it here in America, good colleges with religious institutions woven in so tightly that Nietzsche cannot realistically be discussed in philosophy without turning him into some easily thwarted cartoonish villain.
What other good is there? Peace? What is inner peace when it comes at the expense of the emotional distress of others? It certainly will never bring world peace as long as the three major Abrahamic traditions are all competing for the grandest asshole trophy. Bloodshed across the globe can trace its path back to those religions time and time again.
Does it create answers? No, it creates a false question of "What happens after life?" With religion you spend so much time concerned with your life of eternity that you don't realize your adherence to this bullshit is precisely why death seems like a better choice than the life you are currently living. Everyone is suspect, everyone is a sinner, EVERYONE IS HELLBOUND.
Well I've had enough. I am not going to pander to the religious and act as though religion offers some unique good to the world. Let me leave you with this little nugget about the good religion does in the world.
My grandfather fondled me, my cousin and several of our friends when we were young and blossoming girls. When I told my mother, and when others came forward my grandfather went to see a priest, who forgave him. He has never once apologized or spoke of it again to any of us. We were all very young then. I was urged to forgive him. I was told not to tell my brothers because it would only upset them.
So I did.
I forgave him.
And the day of my beautiful grandmother's funeral he did it again.
Good thing the confessional was open that weekend.