This post is in response to an email I received after my last one. It seems that these words from my post about why we stopped trying for another baby struck a chord (words in quote below, post here).
“Because, no matter what the doctors tell you, it all comes down to luck – amazing isn’t it, science can create life but they can’t force it to stick around.
Luck, it’s a big slap in the face to a person without faith.”
The email questioned how I could have no faith when it was obvious that science needs god to create a real life. It also insinuated that perhaps I wasn’t yet pregnant because I haven’t repented, believed and prayed enough.
Right there folks is some of why I, on occasion, intensely dislike religion, the fanaticism and inability to accept other points of view because of your deeply held beliefs, the ability to hurt others while feeling smug and righteous is, in my experience, a symptom of the disease that is organised religion. It never ceases to amaze me how educated people can use religion as an excuse to belittle others, to hurt and malign others just because they don’t subscribe to the same belief system and frankly folks it’s as bad as racism, worse because it’s not the colour of the skin that leads you to think you’re better than someone but the belief in a code that tells you that you are in the right and everyone else is in the wrong. There’s something terribly sad about that, that words written thousands of years ago and twisted in each retelling lead you to think that anyone who does not subscribe to the same belief system is wrong and somehow less than you.
I’m not ignorant about religion, my best friend in primary school was Coptic Orthodox, my best friend through the first few years of high school (well, until her parents found out) was a Jehovah’s Witness, my dad is a lapsed Catholic and my grandmother still staunchly so and from that generation where an extramarital affair or two was ok as long as you confessed, said your Hail Mary’s and repented. I went to a Catholic school, a progressive one at that, one that taught about other religions in Social Studies and totally contradicted themselves by trying to keep you indoctrinated via compulsory Religious Education classes – taught, amusingly, by an almost-priest who left the seminary to get married. I got kicked out of those classes regularly for asking why and seeking clarification to statements that made no sense – the answer to any question of life should never be “because god said so”.
Now religion is an emotive subject, I have nothing against organised religion in others until they start shoving it down my throat. I respect your need to have a god, and admire your faith, there are some simply beautiful ethical and moral stories in each of the religions and I admire the core ideals of most religions, the majority are common sense moral and ethical rules that teach you how to be a good human being. But you don’t need religion for that. Good parenting can do that.
Throughout history wars have been fought over who believes what, yet, when you take away all of the flowery writing and leave behind the ethical and moral story, religion, across the world is so very much the same, ever so much more than it is different.
Faith, now faith is a different issue entirely to religion. I know I tend to say that I don’t have faith because it is not easy to quantify what I believe, and to say I don’t have faith I am simply saying that I am not religious. I am an atheist in that I believe there is no deity, no god or goddess out there guiding or smiting the life on this earth but I do believe in a universal energy that connects all beings. Something that science backs to an extent.
I can never explain this half as well as Professor Brian Cox who not only makes me giggle because of his name (yes, I’m a child) but also because every time I see him being all super smart I can’t help but think of him back when he was in D:Ream and “Things Can Only Get Better” plays in my head even as he is describing how the universe is dying through a process of ever more disorganised, scattered energy. [On a side note, read the book or watch his series “Wonders of Life”, he explains my belief on connection through energy better than I ever could].
Faith, yes I have faith, I have faith in science, faith in a universal energy that connects us but I choose not to use the word faith because it is all too easily encompassed by religion and religious I am not.
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