Hello everyone, thanks for accepting me in this community and I'd like, for my first post, to get some help on religious symbols and how to deal with them.
I live in Brazil, where most of people declare themselves catholics, but just a few of them really attend church. As I can see all over the country, there are too many religious images and symbols spread all around.
Fisrt, and the most important of them is Christ the redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. The statue itself is a really beautiful piece of art (Altough I prefer the city's view best) and, nowadays it'd weird to see Rio without its most famous monument. But, what do you think of this kind of art?
But, the thing is, almost everywhere you go, you see a catholic symbol, and I'm not talking about private places, but public ones, like hospitals, schools, post offices...
There's a complex of hospitals here in Sao Paulo (and public) where I drop by sometimes and at the waiting room of one of the buildings there's a HUGE cathlic Saint, surrounded by flowers (once I even saw candles).
The State, here in Brazil has already been separeted from The Church since 1988 with the New Constitution, so, I ask myself: "Why the heck are these things all over the places?? Shouldn't there be a proper "room" for these things to be??"
And this is really my doubt: Shouldn't these symbols be in an apropriate place, like a church?? And, is there anything we can do to change it? Is it worth it??
Thanks in advance and I'll try to upload a pic of the Saint (Nossa Senhora Aparecida),
The BBC picked up a study in March that says religion may "become extinct" in 9 countries: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12811197
Brazil is not one of the 9 countries in the study, nor is the US. What we choose to do, while we wait for religion to die a natural death is a very personal decision. There is widespread discrimination against atheists in the US and activism can have unpleasant consequences.
I recommend that you check out the Freedom From Religion Foundation www.ffrf.org. They have a new campaign where people publicly declare themselves to be atheists. They also have a great weekly podcast. And their materials may be helpful to you in deciding what to do.
In some respects the most important thing you can do is try to connect with other people who think like you do. The fact that you took action to join this site is a step in the right direction. You also need to think about how to connect with people who live near you.
Thanks Mark for the suggestion...and I had read that in some countries religion is dying and I really got really happy, but I bet Brazil is gonna be the last one to overcome this beliefs...people are so weird here, anyways, I'll check the FFRF web site better to come up with some ideas..it's a pity that this Foundation works only in the US.
And, S.F. Zeigler,
I loved your idea of taking a pentagram to that hospital, but, I know everyone is going to be against me. I'm a little afraid of doing this and have no support. Would it be possible to hire a lawyer to take care of these matters?? And, again, is it worth it? Because the point is not only get rid of the image, the proble is people's minds....
Now, I'm very ashamed of being brazilian...If you're able to understand portuguese, you'll see that all these people mention God or Jesus in their speech, but why do they do so? In my opinion is a lack of perspective in life that make this people believe and wait for a "God's solution". Who should we blame for? I know, situations similar to this happens all over the world (speacially in poor regions).
Here in Sao Paulo, which is very far from the Amazon, other things happen too. "If God wants that way, so we have to accept." that's what they say. I don't agree and we could do much better instead of waiting for a "divine's" answer....
I know this is not directly on point, but check this out if you haven't seen it, from a friend at the Atheist group in Albuquerque. Very funny.
Indeed, entirely off-topic but hilarious!
Thanks for posting the photo. To my eyes, it is a very strange looking thing. I'd hate to see those creepy idols everywhere.
There are multiple reasons to object to religious statues and symbols in public and especially on public property.
1. The display is paid for and maintained by tax dollars, including that of atheists.
2. The display sends a constant message of judging, condemning, and threatening atheists with violent eternal torture, as well as 2nd class status.
3. The display is a sick glorification of death. I am not just talking about the crucifix, which an obvious replica of a tool of torture. Consider the statues of the character Mary, who is blissful and full of contentment that her son is butchered.
Christianity and Islam are death cults. They revere suffering, "righteous" violence, and blood sacrifice/death. At the beginning of the bible: God chose Abel's blood sacrifice and rejected Cain's grain sacrifice. At the end of the bible: God requires a blood sacrifice of his own son Jesus.
It makes no sense to traumatize children and offend peaceful adults with these statues and nightmarish crucifixes.