I was asked by an Xtian if I decorated for Christmas.
When I answered "NO" - I got the questions I have heard before.
"Are you against Religion? Are you against Christmas."
(Religion is bad - so yes I am against religion)
Any of you here get these same questions?
How do you handle them?
Yes Loren I agree - they can say the most horrid things. I've heard them myself.
Thank you Dennis for your reply. That would be an interesting movie - who could direct that movie?
What I did was this: I wrote a novel called "Xmas Carol". It reclaims Xmas for us while making fun of religion all along the way. It's an uplifting horror story, I think. And readers seem to agree.
I mean, why argue with these folks? There's no percentage in it. But for the record, I always tell religious people that it's impossible for me to respect their beliefs. Absolutely impossible. This doesn't mean we can't be friends -- lots of my friends are religious. But they're not allowed to spout nonsense when they're around me. Seems to work!
Do you sell your book on Amazon Keith? It sounds like something I'd like to read.
Yup, it's right there on Kindle: Xmas Carol by Keith O'Connor. I hope you do read it -- and I also hope you'll review it when you're done. (I'm not looking for anything other than an honest reaction to the book -- good or bad. It's a barrel of fun. I promise. I made it cheap so everyone could afford it. $2.99. I think that's what all ebooks should sell for. I mean, really. It's not like they had to print and deliver a product. Happy reading! (I'm not sure if I can post a link here but I'll try. It's http://goo.gl/QG2rHo )
thank you so much Keith - appreciate the link
it sounds to me like your making a very simple mistake. You assume all religions are bad, probably because you have only been exposed to Abrahamic religions. I doubt you will ever get into a fight with a Taoist or a budhist over there beliefs. The belief that there is more out there than man and that we need to explore our spiritual and emotional selves was what led to the golden age of science and reason in 800 BC. It has lead to every major philosophical discovery mankind has ever made, and lead to the creation of every thing from physics, democracy and the scientific method.
Its not religion thats bad, its unnatural religions that most athiests and humanists find disturbing. The difference being that Unnatural religions believe god created the universe and so every thing is a product of his will. natural religions believe that god is a product of the universe. The god of the christians, jews and muslims, is an "unnatural" religion and tells people that they exist to please some supernatural force and that they need to abide by the rules he has set forth. It stymies social and scientific progression of humanity. If you take something like the Hellenic, ancient egyptian, ancient persian religions where there gods are the embodiment of basic characteristics of the universe you get something much different. In religions such as these the quest to understand "God" is the quest to understand the universe. This is why cultures with natural religions where able to make such incredible scientific and social achievements, and why there extermination led to what we now call the dark age of man.
The best and most obvious example I can give is the story of Prometheus, when he gave man fire (IE man discovered fire) the gods where diminished, thats why they got so mad. They didnt punish man for that, it wasnt there place to punish man but they did understand that the more man learned the less they would be needed, and the less influence they would have over man. It was understood by many ancient cultures that the greater man grew the less power the gods would have over them.
This also gave rise to humanism, the idea that it is mans obligation to become as perfect or as close to perfect as he could be so he could help elevate his fellow men. It wasnt a contest between men and gods, it was the natural order of things that men would rise to replace the gods, just as the gods replaced the titans, and the titans replaced the primordial essences of the universe. These were religions that pushed man into exploring the universe and bettering himself rather than tried to control him.
so no, religion is not bad, it is not for every one, but it is not bad. However any religion that tries to control or supress humanity is a bad thing. So some gods are bad, some are not, some are just concepts given human form. To lump all religion together as bad is as silly as lumping all religions together as good.
Another point I want to make is that holidays are good, religious or otherwise, people need a reason to get together with there loved ones and celebrate. As an athiest and a humanist, I dont want to see the end of religion, I understand that some people need religion, not every one is strong enough to face the universe alone, and the thought of an afterlife is a necessary comfort for some people. I would however like to see the end of religions with the goal of controlling
True Kirk, the original animistic religions were simply humans understanding life and nature through their religion, the religion was a tool for passing on understanding of everything. Same for the less egotistical religions like Taoism and Buddhism, plus a few other less known Asian and African tribal religions.
From those humans added ego, which produced polytheism, and an extra large dose of egotism produced or evolved the monotheistic religions which put humans as the center of everything and these were devised by charlatans like Muhammad, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Zoroaster, Joseph Smith, L Ron Hubbard, etc... for gaining power and control over others.
It's those egotism based monotheistic religions and Scientology, that need to be wiped off the face of the planet, the other more environmentally friendly religions can stay around forever, since I have no issues with them in any way. I'm certain those that need an afterlife for comfort can be happy with Buddhism or Taoism. LOL! :-D~
The afterlife is a strange concept really, but it is said to give people comfort because they cannot understand their own mortality. In earlier life as a christian I was so afraid of death, but today that fear has melted away. Maybe that is because a person can realize that we are all a part of everything that is, and we all have our part to play. Like Mark Twain once said, "I was dead for billions of years before I was born, and it didn't bother me one bit."
Today I am somewhat militant against religion because of all the idiot crap it teaches. Once we take the bait we swallow it all hook, line, and sinker. I'm amazed at a burial when the body and casket is finally lowered into the ground and someone immediately claims "she's in heaven now." Did they not see what just happened? If you engage in conversation with such a person they can tell you "she was in heaven the instant she died." (Of course, if they were Catholic there might be some in between and money paid to get the person out of this state. Yep, that's how we get rich.) For those who saw the body go into the grave, and they understand that fully, the next step is talking about that person's "soul." Then it becomes the soul that is in heaven, and here we go all over again. No one has enough knowledge to understand that you are the "soul." You do not have a "soul." Belief in a soul helps the religious believe they are special and are separate from the animals, but nowhere in their buybull does it say god gave you a soul.
Now we move along to that "rapture" or 2nd coming when the dead rise to meet jesus in the air. In my lifetime it was preached about the graves opening, bodies alive and caught up to meet him, etc. WAIT! Today they go more towards the idea that it's only your "soul" going, but they are too dumb to see that this scripture would have to be wrong because your soul already went to heaven. It was never in the grave, so why is jesus coming back for your body? If you need one, he could just make a new one. So much for stupid beliefs and the infallible buybull.
I'm repeating again, but now we move on to little Johnny crying over the loss of his puppy. He mopes around for days and finally his mother says "don't cry, little Johnny. Your dog is up there in heaven now with jesus." Johnny blurts out "no he's not. I saw you and daddy bury him in the back yard last week." Apparently Johnny is smarter than the adults here, but don't tell this story to a christian. The first thing they tell you back is that "there are no animals in heaven." (Perfect thinking for a christian.) I usually say "really? Read your Old Testament again." (They still don't get it because animals "don't have a soul."
SO, am I against religion and against Christmas. HELL YES! Religion is blind obedience into corrupted beliefs and christ or jesus was never in Christmas from the beginning.
I liked your reply, especially the first paragraph. It's been my experience that religious people are much more afraid of death than atheists. I'm sure religious people would deny this, but it's true. They think a scary judgement game will begin after they take their last breath. That definitely is scary. Like you, I believe I'm a part of everything. Being me was just a temporary thing, and that's fine. In fact, I'm honored to have been a part of life. This seems much better than believing in false gods. Merry Xmas, everyone.
When those who know I'm a non-theist ask me why I put up lights (modest amount) this time of year, I just say to celebrate the solstice, which is the longest night of the year. I explain the practice has been around a lot longer than Xmas tradition.
That is a good response Karl.