I promised myself I wouldn’t jump onto the religious band-wagon and contented myself with merely reading all the articles while the Christianity vs Atheism debate raged on.
However, recent events have set me to rethink that stance. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are divorcing. What has that to do with religion, you may ask? Well, while Katie Homes flees the marital home that she shared with Tom Cruise for, what, six years, the media have happened onto Tom’s religion as a possible reason for the split. Tom Cruise is famously a Scientologist along with such other luminaries as John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Jenna Elfman and Giovanni Ribisi.
He is being vilified in the press as a bad father and a bad husband due to his religion, which in turns is labeled ‘silly’, ‘bizarre’ and ‘evil’. A local weekly magazine ran a headline, “The Struggle for Suri’s soul”. Whatever happened to objective journalism? It seems as soon as religion becomes involved objectivism flies out of the window. Who are we to judge Tom Cruise for believing what he does? Christians believe in an invisible man in the sky, as do the Jews and Muslims. Some Pagans (like myself) believe in invisible women, others in multiple deities, Hindus believe in multiple Deities as well and the Buddhists believe that Gods are not useful for those seeking enlightenment. LaVeyan Satanists do not believe that Satan is a god or god-like force; rather, the function of God is performed and satisfied by the Satanist him/herself.
Are they silly? Are beliefs ever silly and should be people be judged for what they believe? Stupid question, I have been judged my whole life for believing in an invisible woman in the sky, as opposed to an invisible man. Religion seems to bring out the worst in people. I believe that a spiritual path is a deeply personal thing and not one to be shared with all and sundry, especially since all and sundry condemn me for my beliefs, thinking that theirs are better, more spiritual, more right. There is no arguing with them. Tell them that my religion is older than theirs causes them to splutter in disbelief. God was here forever, they argue. Yes, but so was the Goddess I counter. Nope. Can’t be true. If they don’t believe it then it isn’t right. Who’s to say whose religion is the RIGHT one? Can’t we all be right? Maybe we’re all wrong. No-one has ever died and come back to tell us which is correct. Yes, yes I know, Christians have that guy who was beamed into the sky. I’m not talking about then, I’m talking about now. Maybe the Scientologists are correct and we all came from aliens. There’s nothing wrong with believing that and I’m sure they have valid reasons for their beliefs. Perhaps, instead of arguing and condemning we should all just listen and try and understand each other first.
Religion-bashing has become the norm, especially on social media sites. When Lady Gaga announced the South African leg of her tour some people were absolutely horrified, sending out BBM’s to boycott her concerts, denouncing her as Satanic and starting Facebook groups condemning her as ‘The Bride of Satan’ and a ‘Puppet of the Illuminati’. It started off as quite amusing but has became an ugly fight between those who believe the conspiracy theories and those who don’t. The weapon: religion. Atheists and non-theists batter the Christians and Muslims with logic and reason while the religious camp counters with biblical rants and threats of eternal damnation. I bowed out after informing each side that they were wrong.
What it boils down to is, you shouldn’t care what anyone else believes. Worry about your own soul. Tom Cruise’s soul is not your responsibility.
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