I have a confession to make (although folks who are regulars to this blog probably already know this) I am what Bill O-lie-ly calls a "secular progressive". I don't particularly like religion, and I have never been able to figure out what all the fuss was about.
It just bothers me that people who get up and go to church every Sunday morning to sing, pray, and give ten percent of their pay check to the offering plate, would have a heart attack if their son or daughter brought a mate home from a different race. In spite of what the Constitution says, A-merry-cans have always used their religion to try and regulate the behavior of others, and not for their own personal salvation. I have some fundamental issues with that.
I have, for instance, never been able to figure out how we want to put someone to death for raping a little girl. Yet we treat the leader of a church that turns a blind eye while its priests molests little boys like a fucking rock star. I still can't figure out why some people who claim to be really religious love their guns so much. I guess it's all a part of that eye for an eye thing. Still, it seems a little oxymoronic no? And why is it that the most fucked up neighborhoods here in my hometown has a church on every corner? Is it another case of what came first, the chicken or the egg? I am not so sure. And how can a bunch of wackos fly airplanes into buildings, and kill thousands of innocent people, all because they think that when it's over they can have their pick of virgins in paradise? Now if that's not some twisted shit I don't know what is. But hey, that's religion for you, it can be so complicated.
I say that,---it's complicated, because some good things can come from religion as well. If it wasn't for religion, for instance, we probably wouldn't have had a civil rights movement in this country. Some of our great leaders came out of the church. The church can build character and self confidence. It can be an incubator for really wonderful human beings. Some of our great musicians came out of the church, and some of the great modern philosophers and political scientist based their philosophy on religious principles. In a way I am like an ungrateful child, because if it wasn't for the church my family would not have enjoyed some of the comforts that we did.
So all this leaves me angry and frustrated. Angry because I see all the potentially good things that those who are supposed to be selling us religion are throwing away. Religion is not doing what it is supposed to. In fact, in many cases it is having an opposite effect. And I am frustrated because I have never been able to come to grips with just what the hell makes us tick. What is this religion thing all about? When we die, where will we go?
But at the end of the day all I ask for is tolerance. I am willing to make a pact with the religious among us. I will be tolerant of your beliefs no matter what they are, if you will promise to be tolerant of my non-beliefs; at least until I can figure this thing out.
I just hope it won't be too late :)