So yesterday I watched the documentary, Jesus Camp, for the first time. And probably the last time too, very informational but those evangelicals are pretty eff-ing scary…or at least the ones in that movie were, I don’t want to make a blanket statement about a whole religion on here but really, that film freaked me out. There was a whole scene in it where little children were crying and praying in tongues because of the sins that they had committed.
I guess all that kind of stuff seems so weird to me because I was not raised going to church. One time when my sister was in kindergarten, she came home crying because someone at school had told her about saints and that she was bad for not going to church. She was terrified that she had done something wrong and “the saints were going to get her”. When I first went to college, my assigned roommate was a Catholic who spent the semester trying to convert me and telling me over and over I was going to hell. When I told my family about her at during my Thanksgiving break, you would have thought that I told them the school was making me live with a crack addicted prostitute. Don’t get me wrong, my parents were pretty strict about teaching us to respect other peoples difference (religion, ethnicity etc) but nobody likes a fanatic.
Historically, both sides of my family are Catholic. I say “historically” because neither of my parents were raised in particularly religious environments either. In fact, it was my Grandma who was the most freaked out about the fact that I was living with a Catholic. I held off telling her that the girl was a Republican too, I think that fact may have convinced her to pull me out of college all together.
This post isn’t all that coherent, I feel like I am rambling a bit, but the point I am trying to get it is that while I considered myself a very open minded person, I feel like I have some major prejudice against religion. There are just so many things I don’t understand about it. For example, it seems like really religious people are anti-abortion but also pro-war. I don’t get how they can be so against aborting a few-week-old fetus but perfectly OK with sending off men and women to die. Or OK with the fact that the soldiers are killing other people, including civilians, some of which are children. Not to mention the fact that I think they are dying in a war that has nothing to do with preserving freedom and everything to do with making money but that is a post for another time.
I also think that the repression of women is something that is pretty deeply rooted in religion. I mean, maybe I am biased, but it is pretty rare that I hear about a group of atheist talking about how America is laying ruins because family values (which I read as men in charge, women having babies and everyone being straight) have gone down the tubes. And not to mention the whole abortion thing.
I did attend a Unitarian Universalist church for a while with my fiancee. They really focus on exploring the positive aspects of different religions but (and this was focused on a lot more in the church that I went to) they are really dedicated to doing charitable works like helping the homeless, GLBT rights, the green movement etc. I liked that. It was pretty much like lets help as many people as we can and also we can get together, as a community, and try and find the good behind the whole human experience thing.
We quit going to that church but only because we moved when he transferred to a university four hours away from town we were living in. It was cool while we went, but I don’t feel like I have a void in my life that needs to be filled with religion. My basic theory is that you shouldn’t do actions because of the reward or punishment you will get. In other words, you should be a good person because you should be a good person, not because if you do it you’ll get to go to heaven and if you don’t you’ll go to hell. So I try to be a good person, do as much volunteer work as possible, and try not to figure out what is going on with the guy (or girl, or entity, or entities, or lack thereof) in the sky. I figure people aren’t ever going to be able to really know that until we die anyway.
Plus, I have a pretty firm belief of what I think is right and wrong, and I could never try and pretend that I think someone else’s ideas about good or evil or more correct than mine. I could never go somewhere where they try and tell me that between people of the same sex is a sin or that I’m going to hell for living with N. before we are married.
But what do I know? I’ve written four posts on here and one advocates sex whenever you want and another one talks about how I think religion is creepy, so basically if I am mistaken about this whole “religion is wrong” thing I’m in for an eternity of pain...literally. So I wouldn't take my advice on it, figure it out for yourself. Just don't make your kids feel so guilty for their "sins" that they start to sob and pray in tongues. That's just creepy and wrong, no matter what religion you are.