Yes, I was in fact raised on values that align with Christianity, but throughout my life these morales and values were all encompassing, I’ve never been to church for anything other than an “event” and it’s safe to say I will continue to be absent from these services for no good reason, like black students on Martin Luther King day.
But I digress.
Religion is an inherently emotional topic that fills a vast majority of the population with intensity and passion. As is the case with most polarizing subjects, people have had their opinions instilled in them since a young age and I’ll be damned if you’re ever going to sway somebodies opinion. Let’s be honest, nobody wants another person telling them what to believe, I mean, most people don’t even want you to tell them if an outfit really makes them look fat, so when it comes to what you truly believe, what you have dedicated your life too, the light at the end of the tunnel, the ends that justify the means, the climax of your existence, your voice will almost always fall on deaf ears. (Warning: I do not recommend speaking to deaf people.)
And that’s the way it should be. That’s one of the joys of life, especially in the amazing country we live in, the acceptance of another persons beliefs is what makes humanity beautiful. I don’t believe in God, that’s not to say I deny the existence of a higher power, but unlike every other topic ever, I’m willing to look you in the eyes and tell you that I have no fucking idea what is going to happen when I die. Nobody does, and that’s where I justify my beliefs. I have no problems with anybody believing whatever they feel is right, I’m never going to try to convince somebody to adhere to anything they don’t truly believe, because I would never want somebody telling me what I should believe.
Therein lies the problem, and the focus of this blog post: People DO judge your religious beliefs.
Think about it, since Christianity is one of the most dominant religions in the world, specifically in the United States of America, they have the largest amount of power, assets and influence on the population of our country. The reason being, we have accepted these beliefs because human beings have a natural tendency to follow other people, to go where there is power in numbers. If you turn on the television, you wouldn’t give a second thought about seeing a preacher telling you how amazing his religion is, which I’m totally fine with.
What I’m not fine with, is if the same preacher was telling you NOT to believe in God, if he were to tell you that Jesus, as skilled a carpenter and impressive a caterer (His bread and wine parties warrant, at the very least, a “maybe attending.”) as he was, ISN’T the messiah but just a totally rad dude, there would be a tremendous uproar in the community.
Why? How can it be that if you preach one religion you are simply practicing the amazing rights we have been provided by our successors, but another one can be blasphemous slander that is somehow inferior? Obviously much of it has to do with the power of a majority, society never has, nor will it ever, adapt its “norms” to the minority, but most people aren’t seeking adaptation, they’re seeking acceptance.
The inspiration for my thoughts stems from the political world. Supposedly we have a separation of church and state, supposedly your religious beliefs should have no effect on your political decisions or your appeal as a public servant and supposedly the the apocalypse will be upon is in the winter of 2012. Let’s cut the shit, the idea that religion isn’t factored into the equation of a multitude of voters is at best quaint and naive and worst dangerously counterproductive.
In happier times, at least when you utilize selective memory, it was “kinda like a big deal” that John F. Kennedy was the first Catholic president. It wasn’t some peoples cup of tea, but most level headed Americans didn’t let his personal beliefs deter their political support. In their minds, it wasn’t quite irrelevant, but far from the determining factor in their selection for the future “Leader of the Free World.”
Fast forward to present day and a staggeringly high amount of our population genuinely believes Barack Obama is a Muslim. For the sake of my sanity we won’t even mention the poor ignorant bastards who dispute his place of birth, we’ve already lost those people on a crazy train thats only chance of survival is Denzel Washington.
First, Barack Obama is not a Muslim. he has made this explicitly clear, and what’s truly baffling is the fact that the same demographic accusing him of partaking in a religion of “extremists,” were the same people questioning and criticizing his long time pastor for, you guessed it, being far too extreme. Trust me, I’m all for ignorant, misguided bigotry and prejudice, but can we at least have the decency to choose one of the mans religions to hate?
Second, who fucking cares what the mans religion is? Is this not America? Is the acceptance of all religions not displayed prominently in the documents that act as the foundation of our very society? Do we not claim to welcome people from all walks of life, offering equality, acceptance and the pursuit of happiness? What difference does it make which possibly not at all real story he chooses?
Finally, where does anybody get the audacity to question the religion of another human being? Furthermore, how do you prove another person’s religion in the first place? If going to the same church with your family for upwards of 20 years isn’t enough “proof,” what could possibly convince these people? The answer is quite obvious, nothing, because they’ve already convinced themselves they are correct and anybody calling their idea what it is, a fallacy, has a pre-determined (Insert Group of People Commonly Seen in a Negative Light) agenda.
Someone such as myself, who is open, or indifferent to the religious beliefs of another person, deems this “issue” irrelevant. If Barack Obama really is a Muslim, then I’m sorry he’s felt it necessary to hide what he truly believes. If he’s a Christian, like he says, then that’s cool too. When people are starving, losing their jobs, succumbing to their difficulties and behaving in ways they would have never previously considered, the religion of a man has no bearing on how I judge his attempts at making our country a better place.
Here’s where the hypocrisy comes into play. The confusing outcry and controversy surrounding our presidents religion, stems from the EXACT same people who are willing to defend the confusing religious past of tea party candidate Christine O’Donnell. Allow me to reiterate the shit out of the fact that religion is completely irrelevant to how I feel about a politician. I’m much more concerned about her lack of anything even resembling: skill, intellect, experience or even common sense. If she dabbled in witchcraft years ago, that’s creepy and weird, but it doesn’t represent who she is as a person. To put into a proper prospective, I probably view all religions in the same way the general public views Wicca, as made up bullshit that is counterproductive to the success and progress of our nation and humanity in general.
Yet, instead of living up to the what America is supposed to stand for by welcoming and even encouraging a diverse group of religions, we attack. These days, it seems everything outside of telling your opponent that you’re going to have someone rape their daughter, is fair game in the world of politics. You can feel free to attack someone based on personal decisions you might disagree with (O’Donnell) or just go all out and make up ludicrous proclamations that only make sense in the minds of people desperately seeking to destroy the image of a certain man (Obama).
I don’t care if Obama is a Muslim (False).
I don’t care if O’Donnell leads small children into a house made of candy only to devour them like a T.G.I Friday’s sampler platter (Most Likely False).
I care about what decisions they are going to make on behalf of the people they represent, I care about how they plan on making America the best it can be, I care about their commitment to their promises and how likely it is that they will break them. This isn’t high school, it’s not a popularity contest, and in the long run, how much you “like” a politician should mean less then the age of Miley Cyrus after 5 or 6 drinks.
We need to elect the BEST person for the job, not the person who has the least crazy religious beliefs, because an increasingly large segment of the population doesn’t give a flying fuck.
If you endlessly attack someone you dislike for their “controversial” religious beliefs, only to turn around and overlook the “controversial” religious beliefs of somebody you support, you’re a hypocrite. If you want people to respect your religion, but fail to display that same level of respect for another religion, you’re a hypocrite. If you defend your candidates personal beliefs, yet go out of your way to showcase the “problems” with another candidates beliefs, you’re a mother fucking hypocrite.
You can’t bash Obama’s religion, then complain about people attacking O’Donnell for hers. You can’t defend Obama’s rights to believe what he wants, then post images of O’Donnell dressed as Professor McGonagall. You can’t pick and choose when to be outraged or enlightened simply based on its political convenience. However, you have every right to hate Islam AND Wicca. You have every right to complain about how egregious it is that we allow religion to be a factor in the election of our politicians. I have no problem with dissent or criticism of any political candidate.
Feel free to hate or love anybody you so choose, just be consistent. Otherwise, you’re a hypocrite. And a dummy.