Yes, I am quoting George Michael. Don’t judge me. Actually, keep that not-judging thing in mind throughout the post, please, because I am venturing into the slippery slope topic of religion. I watched an episode of Morgan Spurlocks “30 Days” on TV yesterday – a show in which someone attempts something for 30 days – where an atheist woman moved in to a very christian community. Ah, human experiments. I love them.
Did you know that Americans trust atheists even less than homosexuals, immigrants or Muslims? It’s like they’re so far down the list, it’s not even worth picketing against! The majority wouldn’t even vote for a presidential candidate who doesn’t believe in god, even if (s)he were otherwise perfect for the job. The whole show was like a world upside down for me. Even though it is known that the USA is a country with a strong faith, and the Europeans like to make fun of, I don’t think it’s that different over here. Sure, state and church are more separated, but what about what the people believe in – in the privacy of their own homes or heads?
I had a conversation with my mother recently, in which I think I hurt her feelings pretty bad. I told her (I don’t remember how we got to the subject) that I didn’t believe in anything (religion-wise). To me, there is no higher purpose. No master-plan. No guidelines, dogmas, leading force, whatever. I believe in science and facts, but still have my own morals and principles. I go by what I can conceive through logical thought. I believe that when you’re dead, you basically become fertilizer and live on through the memories of loved ones. Still, our time on earth should be put to good, should be useful and meaningful. For it’s own sake. That’s also why I believe in the good in human beings. I do not judge people and devise them into good or bad. I believe all humans are of equal worth – only their actions can be good or bad, and everyone can learn to change those.
But of course, that is a much more complicated way of thinking. I have no book I can look up or being I can turn to, to tell me what is right or wrong. The father in that episode could not conceive how someone could live this way. I think neither could my mom. She went to a school run by nuns and believes in a higher power (even if it’s not in the strict catholic sense), my older sister is rather an agnostic than atheist (so she can’t say for sure what’s up), and my seven year old little sister even asked me if I believed in god. It’s a very touchy subject. Sure, it’s harder to go through life without any certainties and not having a road-map. But I think religion is opium for the masses. Some need it to feel safe, to find answers. I don’t. And even if I wanted to – it would seem fake to me, because to me they are prefabricated answers, so it wouldn’t help me in the end.
Still, just like the atheist woman in the show who encouraged her kids to read the bible – just to know what the others were talking about – I think that an open dialogue is important. I do not want to put other people’s beliefs down just as much as I would like to be respected for where I stand. So what about you, dear readers? Do you have faith? Have you ever had trouble with your standpoint(s)?