Madness in the name of religion.
I am certainly starting to understand where the atheists on this forum are coming from… In the past few days, I have read a column suggesting that blasphemy should be criminalized, an article headed “No tax, no blessing”, and another article headed “Muslim girl must do swim class – German Court”. Wow. These writings, and various others, left me almost speechless.
I will first state my own position as far as religion goes. Whilst I do not believe the Bible should be followed word-for-word, to the letter, (as I believe God gave me a brain and expects me to use it) I do believe the message contained therein about a loving God. (Having read many comments from Christians, I am beginning to think that my God is a very different God to most people’s God). I was brought up in a Christian home, did the Sunday School thing for the first twelve years of my life, was taught all the usual stories from the Bible. I then stopped going to church, and apart from a few occasions, have not been back. Has this stopped me believing in my God? No. If anything, I believe my relationship with God is stronger. I try to live my life as I think God would have me do. I try very hard to not be judgmental on any other faith/belief system. I try very hard to listen and read with an open mind, to understand where the other person is coming from. To each his own, live and let live.
And then I read a column about blasphemy, and how it should be criminalized… Seriously? How can that possibly further the mission of the author of that particular column? It would be impossible to police, for starters, and who gets to decide what constitutes blasphemy? I often see a comment “O.M.G” – we all know what it means. Or do we? Perhaps it means Oh My Goodness. Or Oh My Gosh. Or, for that matter, Oh My G-string. Is there anyone out there who can prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, what I was thinking as I typed OMG? Of course not.
Then I read about the Catholic Church and their new decree of “no tax, no blessing”. Again, seriously? (How very Christian of them.) I have to admit that at first I was fairly gob-smacked to read that there are actually government-collected taxes for the Catholics, Protestants and Jews in Germany. In this day and age? According to the Catholic Church, if you do not pay your (church) taxes, you will not be allowed to get married in the church, have your children baptised or receive the sacraments. They are kidding, right? Do they really think this is God’s word? That this is what God wants?
And then of course there is the little Muslim girl who does not want to swim with her classmates. OK, I understand that in terms of her faith, she may not expose her own body, or view the semi-naked bodies of males. I get that. If that is what you choose to believe, you are entitled to believe it. But then, when you are marked down by the school for not swimming (after all, how can they mark you on something you refused to do?), you take the matter to Court? You expect a Court to tell the school that you are allowed to not swim, but still receive marks for it? Really? This is religion gone mad. When you choose to relocate to another country, you must, surely, then be choosing to live by their rules and norms. What you choose to do in the privacy of your home is your business, but you surely cannot expect the rest of the country to change their rules to suit your particular religion? If you wish to live under the laws of a particular faith, then move to a country which is run by that particular faith, live there and practice your faith to your heart’s content.
No, this is madness. I do not understand how normal, generally sane people can possibly believe that this is right. How can anyone believe that just because you are a religious person you have an automatic right to dictate to others how they should be living their lives, what they should be reading, wearing, eating, seeing or anything else. Believe whatever you want to believe – you do have that right. You also have the right to air your views on a public forum, however deluded others may think you are. You do not, however, have the right to force, or try to legislate, your beliefs (or lack thereof) on anyone else. You do not have the right to dictate to anyone other than yourself.
Peace and blessings.
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