Home > Atheism, Baring My Soul, Family, From the Heart, MySpace blog, Venting > Just in case you were wondering

Just in case you were wondering

After a conversation with one of the people who made such a ridiculous statement to me the other day, I wrote this email to said person. She asked a few questions, and I thought I could just answer them all at once. Then I thought it would make a great blog.

I live in Pennsylvania, in the “Bible Belt” of PA. I’m in Amish country. It’s funny, too, because they are THE most religious people I know, and never ONCE have I ever had them even mention anything religious to me. They are very private about their religion, which is closer to the christian religion than to any other. And that’s what I think religion should be! Private! You would never see them proselytizing, or erecting monuments or scripture written in stone. In fact, they don’t even have graveyards like we do. Of all the religions in the world, I give them with a higher degree of respect than any other religion. Don’t get me wrong, they present their own set of problems – namely the way they treat their women, children and animals – but their religion in and of itself never presents a problem. The Jewish religion gets my next level of respect (American Jewish, not the brand you find in the Middle East currently). Buddhist, even though it’s not a religion, comes in 3rd for me. Christians (which include Catholic and Jehovah’s Witness) fall WAY down that list – next to last. And Muslim after that, in dead last.

Why, you ask, do Christians rate so low with me? It’s all about behavior. In my opinion, the Christian and Muslim religion are almost one and the same. And in my opinion, they’re both very bad and very dangerous, not only for people in general, but for the world as a whole. Privacy and discretion are foreign words to both. So is the phrase “no pressure”. Lying is all too common among both. The only difference between the 2 is that Muslims are all about martyrdom, and they actually DO follow the teachings of their bible, the Qu’ran, to the letter, even stoning to death people that break a rule. (I wonder why the christians don’t do that anymore?)

If people would just keep their religion to themselves, and stop trying to convert everyone else (or trying to “take down” those that aren’t the same), this world would be a much better place. Which brings me to my Aunt. She’s also Christian; Assemblies of God, the last time I knew (she lives in NY). She’s a missionary, traveling to other countries to try to convert everyone. She travels mainly to Europe and the Middle East. Instead of just being a positive example of “goodness” and teaching them how to farm and build, she (and others) feel the need to preach to people about how they should just believe in god, and leave everything in his hands, and they’ll be just fine. You may disagree, but food and shelter aren’t just going to fall out of the heavens on these people. They need to do for themselves, instead of relying on some supernatural force to provide for them. That’s the biggest fallacy of the christian religion. It’s also the biggest reason that Muslims hate us, and why so many of our men and women (and children, in the case of 9/11) are losing their lives.

And it’s not just my Aunt, though she’s the biggest bible-thumper I personally know. My whole family (mother’s side) were brought up the same way. Of course, not one of them behaved in a so-called christian manner. One way on Sunday (and Wednesday and all other days they attended church), and another way the second they got out of church. Actually, now that I think about it, they were behaving in a christian manner, because that’s how every christian I know behaves. I’ve not met one that’s not a hypocrite in one way or another (with my mother and sister being some the biggest hypocrites of all). I guess they feel like they can do anything they want, and they’ll be “forgiven” when they die. My father, even though he’s 1/2 Native American, was still raised in a christian home, because the woman back then always took the religion of her husband. My father was raised that women were “beneath” men, and subservient and all the other good stuff that the bible teaches, so he felt the need to physically assault my mother for their entire 13 years of marriage. Neither of them was brought up that divorce was ok, for biblical reasons, even though she did eventually divorce him because of the abuse.

These aren’t the reasons why I’m an atheist, they’re just the catalyst that set me off in the direction of finding the truth for myself. I personally behave like a good person, not because of some fear of an imaginary man, and not because I’m expecting some big reward when I die. I don’t do things that I wouldn’t want other people to do to me or others. I don’t murder because taking a life is wrong. I don’t steal because I know that to do so would negatively affect others (higher costs, etc.). If I do something wrong to another person, I try to make it right with them. I have no one to answer to except myself and anyone I’ve done wrong. I’m setting a good example to my children and other children. I’ve never used god as a threat to keep my children behaving properly (you know, the old “because god would want you to do that” line). Religion has never been a part of my Son’s life, except when I have to explain why people believe and say and do the things they do. And yet, out of all the children that I know, he (and his sisters, who were raised catholic and have since denounced that religion) are the best behaved, most respectful, moral and kindest hearted children I have ever known. Not just my opinion, either, I hear it from everyone they come into contact with.

Quite frankly, I’m sick and tired of christians excusing their behavior because of the bible, or blaming everyone else for their problems. Like I stated before, christians are responsible for ruining everything for themselves. They’ve lost respect from everyone else, because of their superior, condescending and yet hypocritical behavior. They could all take a lesson from the Amish, the Jewish, and the Buddhists.

Anyway, I’m sure this is more info than you asked for, and probably wanted. I just thought I’d take a moment to explain where I’m coming from, and to answer some of your questions.

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  1. Howard Charles
    December 31, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Dear Shelli, I agree with what you have written. I became an atheist at birth. It was how I was raised. I find the hocus pocus of a deity silly. The great holy books of the three western religions were written by men in a barbaric time and just do not speak to me. My choice to live a moral life has to do with my belief in non-violence. People deserve to be treated in a moral manner. Peace, howie

    • December 31, 2010 at 5:08 pm

      The Golden Rule was in effect long before the Abrahamic religions were. I treat others the way I would want to be treated. That’s what us Atheists mean when we say “Good without god.” Have a wonderful New Year, Howie! ♥

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