There has been endless debate, arguing, hate and dismissal between the religious and non-religious, and while I could compile all I’ve said on behalf of the non-religious in the past, it really doesn’t matter. I have felt something that I have not felt before, and that is why I must state things in a different way.
I am, in terms of my position growing up, a typical white Canadian male — there’s not really a lot of hate in my direction. Sure, some stupid crap about what I do or like, but it’s all just stupid things where I am perfectly fine to contend for myself. But for the first time, I can say there is genuine hate against me for my association with a group; that being agnostic, which is grouped into atheism. I wouldn’t dare compare digital hate as I sit comfortably at home to the atrocities to many minorities over time, but I can say that those who would act in such a way, will most certainly not have an open mind to listen to the reasonable position of someone who disagrees with them.
And for that, I am here to say something not out of reason, but out of emotion and caring: Leave us alone.
Mitt Romney, a candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America, said this on a national stage,
Freedom requires religion … The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square … They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America — the religion of secularism.
I will not waste your time arguing rationally why Romney is wrong on all points, but just say it straight to all the religious: no one is out to get you. Atheism is not a religion. The absence of paint is not paint remover, the absence of vegetation is not pesticide, the absence of religion is not anti-religion. More importantly, over 90% of North Americans believe in a God.
What most of the non-relgious see and feel is not throbbing desire for gay sex and abortions, but for realistic perspectives on realistic matters, and above all things, tolerance. It is illegal for an atheist to hold political office in Arkansas, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee or Texas. You’ve got religious-based hate-speech from the highest levels of government, and a social association between ethics and religion; that without religion there are no ethics.
Again, I refrain from endless quoting as I know no one will read it besides those who already agree, but the simple matter is that what you are all afraid of is what atheists are living now. Discrimination based on religious belief. Whether it be personally, legally, societally, or politically, those without God are without equal rights.
Arguing reason is pointless — religious belief by definition is irrational — so take this as an emotional plea instead of a rational one. Freedom is individual, leave us all to our own. The public is neutral, and neutrality favours no god. Lastly, the only other thing I can do is to play to the religious themselves,
“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret” -Matthew 6:5-6
Because frankly, the things that hurt are not that which is meant to be hurtful. It’s the ignorance itself that is. When people suggest that God hates homosexuality without having a biblical passage to support it; when people relate evolution to the beginning of the universe or the creation of man, when it’s a theory on the change in the average of a species; when the big bang is said to be something scientists consider factual and not theoretical; and when a lack of religion is itself considered a religion. We want no dealing with religion, and that means hearing it from you or the government.
I guess I’m just getting this out there to show that, at one point, I cared about a resolution, because it’s going to get much worse before it gets better. Religious intolerance from fundamental Christians is and will continue to spread to intolerance on all sides, and then we’ll just have to see where things fall. So if you’re sure you’re right about something, don’t argue about it. Because even if you’re right religiously, it doesn’t matter when we’re right scientifically, and you’re doing is annoying everyone involved.
And no, I don’t need God to be tolerant — I’d wager I’m actually better off.