An Explanation for the Religious

Hello there. I’ll cut right to the point.

Look, the point isn’t to get you to stop believing in God, or whatever else you want to believe in. You might think there’s this terrible, concerted effort on the part of the secular world to get you to give up your faith, but there’s not. Sure, yeah, there are definitely people who want that to happen — and I’m not going to lie, I feel like the world would be a much better place if we all learned whatever lessons there are to be learned from religion, just like any other historical document, and move on — but for the most part, all we want is for you to not interfere in our lives. And you’re misinterpreting our desire to avoid your interference as an interference in your lives. Which, well, it is, but so is pushing someone’s boot off your throat.

But here’s the actual point: the point is to get you to acknowledge that perhaps humans’ interpretations about God are flawed. It’s happened so many times in the past, where science has demonstrated that certain assertions made by religion have been inaccurate or outright wrong, that the idea that it’s not going to continue to happen is incredibly arrogant.

In the end, here’s the thing: If you can’t allow that humans’ interpretations about God are inaccurate, then you’re placing yourself in a greater position than this being you claim to worship. You’re saying, in effect, “we know exactly what God’s intentions are.” You’re saying that your understanding of God is perfect, that humans can be perfect. Isn’t that contradictory to your beliefs?

Even if the Bible actually was inspired by God (and full disclosure, here, I don’t think it was, but for the sake of argument let’s assume that it was), it would still have been transcribed by human hands, through human brains, all of which are fallible. Maybe God knew this. Maybe we were supposed to get it wrong. If our understanding were perfect, what would the point have been in doing anything beyond that point?

Ultimately, you can’t truly believe in God while also assuming you understand his intentions and instructions. If you actually believe everything you claim to believe about him, then all of that is unfathomable to you. Genuinely unfathomable. To claim you really know is so arrogant it’s blasphemous.

For instance, how do you know — how can you be sure, if God is truly omnipotent and omniscient and all that — that creationism doesn’t exist only to encourage scientists to work even harder to figure out how things really work? “God works in mysterious ways,” after all, right? And how can you say it’s otherwise without making assumptions that undermine your own faith in an omnipotent and omniscient God? How can you try to dictate others’ lives in the name of God without being supremely arrogant in both directions?

That’s the point. That’s the point of all our efforts. We don’t care what you believe, we care what you do in the name of your belief. We care that your arrogance is ruining lives, and possibly contributing to the ruin of our planet, and undermining what should be your own faith.

So please stop. Please actually believe in God, and just stop.

4 thoughts on “An Explanation for the Religious”

  1. You make a good point, my friend.
    My worry is that too many Xians (and I have been among them) use God, Christ, or what-have-you simply as a club to batter their agenda along, to get away with running roughshod over the protests of wife, friends, any one who opposes their “God-given” rights to do as they wish.
    Better an honest atheist than these fetid Xians; God, at least as I understand Him (forgive the wording but I have no other way to put things) asks us to respect the beliefs of our fellows, not force His Words down throats.

  2. “And you’re misinterpreting our desire to avoid your interference as an interference in your lives. Which, well, it is, but so is pushing someone’s boot off your throat.”

    Which is exactly how many of us out here feel about progressives. So how about we all stop stomping boots in other’s throats? Give up your government power and then we can… Oh, no? You just wanted those other guys to stop being jerks. OK, got it. Sorry.

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