Monday, July 2, 2012

Top Ten Reasons Why I Don't Respect Religion

By: Matthew Chatterton

The title is self-explanatory so, rather than an introduction, let's just jump right into it.

10) War & violence

In the history of Christianity, countless crimes against humanity have been committed.

A few of the atrocities committed in the name of Christianity are as follows:
Whether it be the 9/11 attack, the blowing up of abortion clinics, or the women's health clinic which was recently burnt to the ground, a holy text was used as justification for terrorism. Regarding anti-abortionists, the terrorist's justification comes from doctrine rather than the Bible.

A holy war that is currently taking place in the world is the war between the Israeli government and the Palestinian government. On one side, genocide is committed and justified by the Torah and, on the other, terrorism is committed and justified by the Koran. Perhaps, the two should learn to respect each other but I won't their respective religions.

On top of that, the three Abrahamic religions have laundry lists of people you should kill.

I will not respect or even tolerate senseless, irrational violence nor will I respect the justifications for such actions.

9) Rejection of medicine

Faith healing is the belief that religious faith alone can cure medical illnesses through prayer or rituals.

I don't have a problem with faith healing via prayer, so long as it is used in tandem with proper medical treatment. Unfortunately, the are far too many cases of people resorting exclusively to faith healing when they have cancer, diabetes, or any of a vast number of serious illnesses. The end result of this is usually death.

Many Christians refuse to be organ donors on the basis that the their organs would be raptured along with the rest of them, leaving the organ recipients to die from a lack of vital organs. In other words, there are people who believe they are helping people by not helping them.

8) Retardation of scientific progress

Religion has a long tradition of censoring information it doesn't like.

Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake by the church for stating that the sun, rather than the Earth, was the center of the solar system. He also stated that the Sun is a star and that there are an infinite number of worlds with intelligent being inhabiting them. Those notions contradicted the Christian doctrine of the time. It would appear, however, that Bruno has been exonerated by modern astronomy.

Galileo Galilei supported the heliocentric model which won him a sentence to house arrest for the remainder of his life after he refused to recant his statements.

To this day, the censorship and distortion of science is ever prevalent. The scientific theories which are opposed by religion include but are not limited to the following:
  • The theory of evolution Why Evolution is controversial
  • The theory of plate tectonics
  • The theory of global warming
  • The theory of inflation (big bang)

The main detriment, on this note, in today's society is in public perception. To move forward scientifically, we must replenish our supply of scientists. Lying to children about what science says or how it works, is to aid in the extinction of scientific advancement. It is to aid in the extinction of technological progress and to do that is to damn us.

7) Perverting education

Education systems around the world are rife with the censorship of scientific knowledge. Religious organizations have expressed clearly, their goal of teaching creationism in public school science classrooms. This is nothing more than indoctrination and breeds an unconditional distrust of secular (real) science.

Another way in which religion is damaging to education is abstinence-only education. Abstinence-only education involves the censorship of the science of sexual health and has lead to a higher rate of unprotected sex among teens and, subsequently, a higher rate of teen pregnancy. Abstinence-only education isn't just anti-science, it's totally irresponsible.

 Ignorance isn't bliss, it's recklessness.

6) The oppression of peoples

Religion has been used to oppress many peoples ('people' as a group - 'peoples' as multiple groups) throughout history.

The Torah, the Bible, the Koran, and the book of Mormon all endorse slavery and have acted as justifications of slavery.

Some Christians will point out that the abolitionists were Christian. While they weren't all Christian, I can still grant that notion. I will also point out that the abolitionists had no scriptures to back up their position. They do deserve my respect for their opposition to slavery but their religion deserves nothing on that basis.

Simply put, I will not respect anyone or anything that endorses slavery.

5) The suppression of rights

This piggy-backs off the last one.

One of the main civil rights issues in the world is gay rights. The Torah and Bible makes their position on homosexuality clear.

"If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives." Leviticus 20: 13 NAB

The Hadith, which is the prophet Muhammad's words, also makes its position clear.

"If a man who is not married is seized committing sodomy, he will be stoned to death." Abu Dawud (4448)

The reality is that believers in the modern world are simply more afraid of jail than they are of Hell. For that reason, they decide to go after the rights and liberties of gays rather than killing them.

One of these rights is simple protection from discrimination. Currently, sexual orientation is not covered by most anti-discrimination laws in the US. The justification for this is that homosexuality is a choice. This notion is, of course, disproved by science itself. In places where anti-discrimination laws do not apply sexual orientation, homosexuals are fired from their jobs, making them more prone to financial instability.

How can a respect religious beliefs when they won't respect human beings.

4) Childhood Indoctrination

Every time I hear the words "childhood indoctrination," I am reminded of a song I learned as a child. The song was titled "Jesus Loves Me This I Know." I was four or five years old and, even then, I wondered why the Bible stating something made it true. I was told repeatedly that Jesus loved me but I was also told that, if I didn't love him back, I would burn forever without interruption.

As I got older, I heard about Hell more and more frequently. I started having nightmares involving Satan dragging me down into Hell and falling down a a large hole in the Earth into Hell. In some dreams, I would even find myself already in Hell and being pushed into a pool of lava just before waking up.

I was terrified.

3) The Market Place of Ideas

The "Marketplace of ideas" philosophy is a rationale for freedom of speech, expression, and thought (freedom of thought is in the French constitution) and it holds that the truth will emerge out of the competition between ideas in free, transparent public discourse.

The reason why someone would demand unconditional respect for an idea or belief is to excuse it from the marketplace of ideas where it would scrutinized, analyzed, and possibly criticized. This is an admission that the idea or belief lacks merit and would, therefore, come to perish.

Why would I respect something like that?

2) Your religion tells you to kill me

The Bible, Torah, and Koran tells people to kill many different groups of people. Item two from Top Ten People The Bible Tells You To Kill includes the following verses.

“They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.” 2 Chronicles 15: 12-13 NAB

Am I really supposed to be respectful of a religion that says to kill me because I use my mind to think rationally? I will not respect any religions that will convict me of a thought crime.

If one demands my respect for a religion which orders the fatwa for my death, I will simply respond, "No. Fuck you!"

1) Reciprocity

When people says that you should respect people's religious beliefs, what they really mean is that you should respect THEIR religious beliefs. Most religionists have faith that their religion is entitled to unconditional but that faith is exclusive to their respective religions; they, therefore, are not likely to reciprocate any compliance with their irrational demands.

I could write more but I think these pictures wrap it up nicely.


I will not respect a religion unless it has earned my respect. In other words, I respect no religion. This mustn't be confused with respecting the people themselves. It is important to compartmentalize beliefs and the people who hold them.

"I respect you as a person too much to respect your ridiculous beliefs." - Johann Hari

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