What’s In A Name…
I’m often troubled with how religions, as well as how religious people can be treated on social media. I see memes and assertions daily poking fun at religion, at religious people, and in many instances, calling for others to step away from religion. I find this unsavory on one level, and sad on another.
I have many atheist friends, and I understand why so many doubt or disbelieve in a higher power. I get it. For many, atheism is the right choice. I would defend a person’s right to be atheist with all I have in me, despite that I am not one.
As a point of clarification though, if a person is against religion – if he or she speaks out against, or puts effort toward to pulling people away from religion, they are not an atheist, they are an antitheist. They would also be a bigot.
Raise Your Hand If…
By the cursory definition that an atheist believes in an absence of deities, somewhere between 2-13% of the human population are declared atheists. This suggests that the remaining 87-98% of the human population are either unsure of deities, or otherwise committed to one.
One data source I used suggests that 6.5 billion of the planet’s 7.1 billion people believe in a higher power. Of that 6.5 billion people, 78% claim a religious affiliation of some sort, though many are not active within their associated affiliation.
If that large a percentage of the world’s population believes in a god and has even a lose religious affiliation, and if a person feels compelled to make fun of or to attempt to pull their friends and loved ones away from religion, they are not only antitheists and bigots, but they are also fighting the largest of losing causes.
On Simple Amusement…
One of the great ironies I see with those who poke fun at religion, and of those who would have religion abolished if they were so empowered, is that very often these same people are socially liberal. That is, they are defenders of causes such as LBGT rights, cannabis legalization, and freedoms of expression, yet they are actively against a belief in the divine.
The antitheist, despite the probability that they are socially liberal, are too often compelled to tease and even torment believers, and to treat them as though they are doddering ignoramuses who are lucky enough to keep from tying their own shoes together each morning. Again, I find this unsavory, but more deeply, I feel that making fun of a great majority of all humans to be repugnant.
If I, in the presence of a socially liberal friend were to poke fun at a gay or transgender person, I would be immediately rebuked and taken to task. Still, the urge to poke fun at those who find salvation in prayer is entertaining, if not uncontrollable for many who I have just described.
Be Consistent With Your Hate, As Well As With Your Love…
All I’m suggesting here is consistency. If you’re okay with other people smoking pot, having same-gender consensual sex, and implore on behalf of the freedoms of choice, and you don’t make fun of anyone for it, then please be okay with someone who believes in god and chooses to pray.
As there is no need to shame or criticize someone because they have a pot leaf on their t-shirt, there is also no need to shame or criticize someone for having a cross or a star as their profile picture. Conversely, if you’re going to poke fun at someone for believing in god, please take time to pick on the coloreds and the fags too.
We all have the right to stand for what we believe in. There is no need though, at all, to make fun of someone’s beliefs for the simple satisfaction of a smirk or a laugh. We can do better than that. As a species, it’s time we practice to understand. Be well. rc
If you are not already a subscriber, please scroll up and do so. Tell your friends about me — about what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there’s this from Rick Astley. Don’t blame me on this one. I put it to my social media community to choose this week’s song. You can all blame, Drea!!!!