This gorgeous post is a response to comments that were made in response to my FaceBook status today.
Steve and I talk lots but live on opposite sides of the Atlantic. I think he's brilliant and I'm sure, someday, he's going to be famous and is months away from being discovered.
My FaceBook status is: "As long as we allow 'they' to let religion and skin colour divide us, there will be no getting along. Religion and 'race' are social constructs designed and manipulated to divide and conquer us. 'god' and 'race' are both myths. Rise above."
There are loads of comments on there and I'm sure some commenters are not so thrilled with my replies - or the links to Richard Dawkins I put in my replies - but that's life.
Either you are willing to know all sides of an issue in order to argue your point well or you're not. It's like being pregnant; you is or you ain't.
Someone said there's no difference between racisim and 'incomeism' meaning how we treat rich/poor people. Someone also said that all people are racist to some extent.... That's when Steve weighed in (and read my mind). Names have been removed because despite not always agreeing with everyone, I LOVE my friends and their minds - and that they use them and that they're willing to participate in the dialogue.
"...., I'm not even remotely racist and neither are most of my friends. Racism is the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, particularly so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. I believe 100% that all people are different. A little bit is down to genetics, most of it down to experiences, but a lot is just who they are. Even identical twins are often totally different, and they're genes and upbringing would mostly be the same. We can't explain everything, I wish humans would give up trying to do so without any conclusive evidence whatsoever.
"...., don't be so nice - the MO of religion IS to not accept others as they are, there's no escaping it because it won't survive if it just accepts that people are born atheist and leaves them alone.
The whole point of evangelism is to convert people to their side and make them followers. Pretty much every religion (except maybe Judaism, I don't know) has it's own version of conversion and some of us are getting really sick of being advertised at to come inside and be loved by an imaginary being.
It's not comforting - it's patronising - that they think we're dumb enough to buy it and it's a fat waste of time and the whole industry could be put to use doing something so much more productive than just 'praying things get better because we happened to be asking God for it right now', because, you know, he's not quite omniscient enough to see we need help until us 'clever' humans happen to ask him for it.
Which [requests] he doesn't respond to by the way (with actions, we all know he doesn't respond in words) have you seen the news lately? Or ever? Ask and you shall receive. Yeah. Right. Tell that to Africa, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, South America, China, India or Sri Lanka to name a few. Tell that to Europe when the Romans were invading it.
Tell that to the Native Americans when Europe was invading it. Tell it to the indigenous people of Australia when the British were invading them. Tell it to the Jews and gays in Nazi Germany, and then tell it to the rest of Europe when it proceeded to invade them. In fact, tell all the people at various stages in history that if they'd only asked, they would have received. That is assuming that they didn't already ask, and I'm fairly certain the Jews would have asked during World War II.
Was God on vacation throughout the 1940s?
Not to mention, these religious converts are kidding themselves if they think they're getting a second and eternal life after they die. Talk about false promises. If you're selling your car, would you trust the buyer to pay you AFTER you signed over the registration? BIGGEST SCAM EVER. No, you won't, cuz he'll be long gone, just as every religious preacher will be when you're all dead and non-existent. Non-existent like you were BEFORE you were born.
Worse still, laws are decided almost wholly based on this invented, 2000 year old 'logic'. Laws concerning abortion, gay marriage/adoption and euthanasia to name a few. It's total manipulation used to convince people of a set of opinions that just aren't the way the world thinks any more, thanks to science and technology.
We all know that being gay isn't a 'sin' that people are tempted into by a demon; we all know that gay couples are just as capable of raising children and we all know that a baby in such an early stage of life is not alive enough to know what is being taken away from it. It's religious beliefs, not atheist ones, that still dominate and oppress large parts of the world today as it always has done.
So yeah, it would be wonderful if everyone would just accept everyone else's beliefs; if religious people would stop indoctrinating children while they're still young enough to believe whatever whack an adult allowed near them has to say; if cults/religions (totally the same thing by the way, no matter how much Christians deny it) stopped preying on vulnerable/uncertain people, offering them love, comfort and 'answers' in exchange for buying the crap they're preaching at them and the odd donation to pay their wages and maintain that shiny, prestigious location they congregate at once a week.
These people could donate this time and money to helping sick people or educating poor people and get the same 'happy' feeling, while actually DOING something about the problems in the world.
Religion AND race are just bad, ignorant ideas invented by people who knew a vast amount less about the world than we do now and whose motives may have been driven by times that were a lot tougher and more competitive than life is today. It needs to stop.