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Why I despise, am intolerant of, and ridicule religious beliefs?

20 June 2014, 11:01

One of the regular whines posted by religious peddlers on News24 are pathetic statements like the following:

I still do not understand why atheists spend so much time and energy attacking others beliefs in an "entity" that does not exist. What difference does that make to you atheists?”

The difference it makes and why I bother is because I genuinely care about what religion has done and continues to do to our world. The fear I have of religion is certainly not of the retribution from an imaginary god. It is a fear of its adherents. Religion and gods can’t hurt me, but some crazy fundamentalist with an AK74 can kill me and my family or a jihadist Muslim can blow up my plane.

I grew up under the apartheid regime and am sick and tired of being held hostage to the delusions of others. The religious profess things they don’t know for certain, claim the justification as faith and get all huffy, and often violent, when people dare to question the basis of that faith. Faith has zero value. It neither makes things true, or validates things that are true. It takes no courage to have faith. All that faith does is encourage ignorance.

Religious belief is a world-wide disease and mental illness and what the religious do or achieve in one country inevitably affects (infects) the rest of the world.

There are a raft of reasons why I stand up and confront the promotion and public expressions of religious beliefs. Here are just a few:

The religious cannot mind their own business

The religious cannot mind their own business and constantly try to impose their ludicrous faith and practices on the rest of society.

If they do not want to use a condom then they don't have to.

If they do not believe in abortion then no one is forcing them to have one.

If they would rather die than benefit from medical research using stem cells then that is their prerogative.

If they want to die in misery and pain and deny themselves the right to have their lives terminated peacefully then that is their choice.

If something that can be read, watched or listened to offends them, they are free to turn their backs and walk away.

But that is not what they want. They want to force everyone to conform to their skewed, close-minded, unthinking and fearful outlook on life.

Unwarranted religious privilege

Religions have used their influence in the past to have governments pass laws favouring their beliefs: privileges that are denied to other tax paying citizens. Public holidays celebrating one religion and not others is a minor example. Of more concern is that religions are permitted to collect vast amounts of money without proper accounting and to not have to pay income and property taxes. Taxpayers like me land up subsidising activities that border on criminal fraud.

Brainwashing of children

What I find especially despicable and the summit on the mountain of religious immorality is the brainwashing of children. Young children are indoctrinated in dogma before they are even old enough to consider for themselves what is true and false, what is right and wrong. They are shackled in obedience, ever fearful of divine retribution for their failures. Their minds are soaked in inculcated bigotry and hatred to the extent that many will gladly die for the cause. This is straight forward child abuse. And this abominable and viscous cycle will repeat ad infinitum unless it is finally broken and peace prevails over this madness.

The propagation of division and hatred

Religion divides families, neighbours and nations, obliterating the harmony that could be achieved in reason-based societies. The religious know what they are saying about homosexuals, believers in different gods or versions of gods and atheists is absolutely unacceptable but they’re hoping we’ll let it slide because they have a strong religious conviction about it. Simply put, being hateful and being religious aren’t mutually exclusive. There are plenty of examples of those two worlds overlapping.

The dangers of irrational thinking

There are many people in the world who hold positions of responsibility with the power of life and death in their hands; doctors, lawyers, politicians, military leaders, even train drivers. I want these people to be the most level-headed and rational people on this earth. I want the person that is going to operate on me, the person who is going to fly my plane, and the person who makes laws that influence my life, to be the most rational and level-headed person that could possibly be.

Doubters need look no further than fundamentalist Christians who actually want the end of the world to come so they can experience their so-called rapture. Some of these people hold significant political positions. How long will it be before one such deluded crank actually has access to the big red button and gleefully launches all-out nuclear mayhem and in a self-fulfilling the Armageddon prophecy. Similarly, many Muslims believe they will be actually be blessed for their suicide and martyrdom.

The lie of religious morality

Just the other day we had a senior member of the South African judiciary attempt to perpetuate the myth that religion instils a superior level of morals. There’s no way that people’s moral beliefs are actually formed by religious teachings, because the religious simply cast aside any unsavoury (to them) messages and follow only the ones they like. The religious cannot see this in themselves. They construct elaborate webs of language (context anyone?) that prevent them from noticing any contradictions in their ideas or behaviour. This same web deflects any questions and they resort to a meandering stream of scripture quoting, blather, non-answers and platitudes to justify their prejudices.

These levels of psychosis can justify anything as being righteous and the will of god. This is the blind, one-eyed face of true madness. This is the lurking darkness in a world. All the major organised religions dream of forcing everyone to live once again under their submission, where heretics can be silenced at a whim, as they still are in some countries today. If we do nothing then we deal them a winning hand, grant them a free permit and the go-ahead . Doing nothing is to risk repeating the cycle of stupidity that has held back mankind for centuries.

That is why I despise and fear religion. It is not fear of a god’s retribution. It is a fear of humans brainwashed with bad ideas and bad information. Religions are used to legitimise awful deeds, now, this very second. When the religious stop raping, torturing, oppressing and murdering in the name of whatever nonsensical drivel that they subscribe to, when they stop restricting my rights and stop stealing my money, then, and only then will I shut up and leave them and their infantile beliefs in peace.

Ridicule is the one powerful weapon the religious most fear.

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