Religion Is a Fluffy Sword
Religion is a fluffy sword. It can be very comforting, but also very dangerous. My departure from Christianity, and from religion in general, was a long journey. I was not fully aware I was on the journey until it was just about over. The comfort and joy it brought me just could not outweigh the pain and confusion it brought. The many contradictions and unanswerable questions eventually caused the Religious Machine in my mind to collapse. The notion of hell was a major issue. Yes, many Christians will say that true Christians do not believe in such an archaic notion of hell. However, it is still there, still in the Bible, and still believed by many. What is a true Christian, anyhow? People cannot seem to agree on that. If you wish to take the Bible literally, Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church are the truest of true Christians!
The Westboro Baptist Church has a peculiar fixation with homosexuality. They are not alone in their views, albeit most are nowhere near as extreme. I may be straight myself, but to see such an inequality still persisting in the present day is simply saddening. Slaves had to earn their freedom in the nineteenth century, the Civil Rights Movement took another hundred years to occur, and yet here we are still denying people rights for no good reason. Is it because of the Bible? They used that book to justify slavery as well- slavery is mentioned and encouraged in many passages. Yes, the Bible specifically condemns homosexuality: "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable" (Leviticus, 18:22). Yet in the very next chapter, in Leviticus 19:19, God tells us: "Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material." Guess you will have to burn those cotton/polyester shirts. This is the 21st century, and we must be able to see past the archaic ideas our ancestors came up with. I have heard many arguments against same-sex marriage, but I have yet to hear a single good one.
There are a lot of arguments and ideas brought up by the strongly religious that simply do not stand on solid ground. Why are women not allowed to be priests? Why is your religion correct, and all the others false? Why would a loving God condemn people to hell? Why is evolution a lie, despite the enormous amount of evidence in its favour? I may have many issues with religion, but do not get me wrong: I do not wish to abolish it.
Society should be free to do as they please as long as they do not harm others. The Golden Rule really is all you need to remember, and it is no surprise that you find a variant of it in many cultures. I lack a belief in God, but I believe people should be free to pursue their religious beliefs as long as they do not impede upon the freedom and lives of others. While I attack the more archaic notions of the Bible, there are also numerous positive messages in it as well. The dated form of Christianity that took it more literally must be done away with. However, there is rationality behind the more recent liberal form of Christianity, in which their loving God is actually a loving and accepting God. It makes far more sense than the violent, misogynist, contradictory, and foolish God of the Old Testament who somehow had the brains to create this vast and complex universe. We could have a society in which religion and science respect each other, and let one another pursue their separate paths. Our knowledge and society itself would achieve amazing feats, and the dangerous God of old would give way to a God that wants us to develop. This loving God does not discriminate, does not condemn, can in fact use evolution as a tool for creation, and can be a universal component of all modern, more liberal religions. This would not hold back mankind's progress- if anything, it would aid it.
Humanity may have the power to destroy themselves, but we also hold wondrous potential. We cannot let fear, ignorance, and a clinging to the past be our downfall. I remain hopeful. Society has advanced positively overall throughout human history. The present is by far the best time to be alive: We are in an age of far greater equality, growth, technology, and potential than ever before. Imagine what the future could hold- if we embrace it.