Sunday, February 12, 2012
Off to See The Wizard
While vacationing in California last year, I spotted an adopt-a-highway sign that been put up by an outfit called the United Atheists.
United Atheists? What unites them, I wondered—their belief in nothing? If that's all then the meetings must be awfully short.
Please understand—I strongly support freedom of religion and that includes the freedom not to have any religion at all.
But I suspect that a lot of people who say they don’t believe in God would suddenly see the light if their car blew a tire on that highway while they were doing 70 mph. There are no atheists in rollovers.
You can’t turn in any direction without running into some religious issue. Recently I made the mistake of reading the comments section of a news story about some horrendous disaster and one of the posters had put up the usual “God help the victims” line.
And, like clockwork, this brought sarcastic responses from the non-religious types and a holy snark war quickly broke out.
“Good luck with your Sky Wizard,” one commenter wisecracked in an apparent reference to God.
As a modern, rational man, I have to admit that the whole idea of religion can seem pretty bizarre.
We tend to mock other cultures for their strange beliefs, yet at least three Republican presidential candidates said that God told them to run for the nation’s highest office.
I’ve heard candidates being described as “a man of faith,” as if those words are supposed to be comforting. People forget that Osama bin Laden was a man of faith, too. Not very comforting, is it?
I Gotta Have Faith
Religion has absolutely no place in politics and I look forward to the day when someone asks a presidential candidate about his or her religious beliefs and gets a hearty response of “None of your goddamn business!”
Abortion center bombings, 9/11, school prayer, religious fund-a-mental cases of all stripes have caused no end of trouble in this world and the things that some people have done in the name of God could make Satan turn his forked tail and run like hell.
We live in a society that uses the phrase “religious violence” with a straight face. Think about that one for a minute.
As a survivor of the 8-year spook house ride known as Catholic school, I can personally attest to the danger of religious zealots. The experience put me off church for so long that when I finally did go back I went to the Episcopalians.
The thing is, atheism just doesn’t do it for me. I like believing in a higher power, I like giving thanks to a divine being. Call me crazy and you might be right.
I know real men and women of faith, people who do wonderful things in God's name, and they're very inspirational.
I go to church now because I enjoy it, not because I’m afraid some psycho nun will kick down my door and beat me senseless with a yardstick.
And I try to the right thing by people because it’s the right thing to do, and not out of fear that I’ll end up in Lucifer’s eternal microwave.
I like starting my day off with prayer because it feels good. I don’t need to be guilted into submission.
You don’t believe? Fine. You won’t find me trying to convert you. What gives me comfort may seem like backwoods mumbo jumbo to you. There are few things I hate more than some bible-thumping screwball trying to drag me into the tent, so I make it my business to mind my own business.
But I’m going to keep on believing in my Sky Wizard. It’s nice to think there’s something beyond this mortal coil.
And you never know when you might blow a tire.