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Atheism: The minority report

26 June 2013, 20:18

The term “Separation of Church and State” has been thrown around a lot in the States. Yet I think it should be just as relevant here.

We are told we have to be respectful of all religions and otherwise in this country, and yes I know this little piece of mine is going to get a lot negative feedback, but I feel this must be said.

With the regards to Mandela, the phrase “prays must go out” is rather subjective and used by everyone from the media and even government. It’s as if our country has chosen Christianity as some kind of default religion that they assume everyone must abide by. Is it so hard to just say “Our thoughts are with Madiba”?

But you may say that highlighting such trivial phrases is irrelevant and I’m knit-picking but it doesn't just end there. I’m talking about government using religion as a pole to garner more votes. The whole thing with Zuma saying that if you don’t vote ANC you won’t get into heaven is case and point. And by that I think he was referring to the Christian heaven so everyone else is screwed. Now any educated person, Christian or not will never take him seriously but we all know why and how the ANC party keep getting their votes. It’s the uneducated and easily swayed members of the public that are caught by these offensive tirades every time. Is this right? Should government so blatantly use religion as a political device?

What irritates me even more is the lack of respect for people who decide not be religious at all. Sure let’s all respect religious freedom because the majority happens to be part of some church, mosque or otherwise. But dare mention that you’re an atheist and you’re looked down upon like pond scum. Muslims, Christians etc can all stand up and proclaim loudly that “god is good” and “let’s all pray to him” but the moment I say “there is no god, it’s as simple as that” I’m using hate speech and I’m being offensive. Is it because I represent a 5% minority that it’s okay to for zealots and government to label me a freak? You don’t have to agree with me and quite frankly I don’t care, but don’t think you have carte blanche to call me wrong because you have the numbers.

I strongly believe that ANY governing body should remove itself from religious faculties. I’m not saying that members of government can’t be religious but it should not be in any government doctrine nor should they manifest it as law to the broader public.  I don’t know if any of you may know this but in the state of Texas USA it is technically illegal for an atheist to hold any form of public office. Why is it that in this day and age where ones beliefs and creed is to be highly regarded is it so plainly obvious that one who chooses not to subscribe to any man made belief system is still marginalised?

My favourite argument is the one of moral code, that should one not subscribe to a system of faith that they are therefore immoral and dubious. My argument is that morality comes from reason and not divinity. I still choose to donate to charity, I have respect for my fellow man, I know not to steal, rape or kill and that’s more than I can say for how religion has portrayed itself in history. How many acts of violence have been committed in the name of some benevolent god? How many people have been marred, tortured and yes MURDERED because they choose a different path to yours? Because at the end of the day it all boils down to my god is better than your god, doesn’t it?

Ignorance is hardly in short supply and I’m going to end off by saying that it seems the ratio between the uneducated and the over religious in any country seems to be in direct relation to one another. No, I don’t believe in your sky daddy, this life is all I have and I’d rather be happy in this one then aspire to be in the next.

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