I had a pretty strong response to my last post from a good, dear friend of mine. He strongly disagreed with the article I linked to. He, of course, has every right to disagree and I never expect everyone to agree with everything I say or reference.
One thing that he said really startled me. He said, “If you hate God that is your business and between you and him.”
I never once said, or even implied in that or any other post I’ve written that I hate God, which is why I was so startled by his comment.
I replied that I don’t hate God, but I do hate religion because I believe it drives a wedge between people for no valid reason. We are all different and we have different beliefs and world views, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get along. Using the concept that people who don’t believe like us are evil serves no purpose and only leads to violence, suffering and death.
I am not at all naive to believe that we can all live in peace and harmony, as nice as that would be, but I certainly think that we can, should, and for the most part, do tolerate each other. It isn’t necessary to think or believe alike in order to coexist. We’ve been doing it for centuries, otherwise there would only be one homogeneous group of humans on earth, all believing the exact same thing. The fact that this isn’t the case shows that we have learned, for the most part, that it is best for our long term survival to try to get along with other groups of people even if we don’t agree with or like them. We can even hate them and still coexist. That’s why we have fences, and borders and treaties, and militaries to support those treaties and keep the peace.
What really struck me most about his comment is the assumption that because I linked to an article that was critical of Christianity that I must somehow hate God.
The reason I made that article the focus of my blog entry was that I believe that we need to question fundamental beliefs when those beliefs are the cause of suffering, pain and death, or in any way has a negative impact on people. Questioning these beliefs doesn’t make them wrong, but it should make us stop and think about what the effect of these beliefs are. To blindly believe in something that causes harm to another is not just callous, but morally wrong unless it can be rationally justified based on the idea that we all have the inalienable right to life, liberty the the pursuit of happiness.
To question assumptions, beliefs and ideas is critical because otherwise we are left with a jumble of misunderstandings, contradictions, and fears that can only serve to divide and destroy us. And to assume that someone hates your or your God because you dare to question their beliefs or actions is unfair, reactionary and can only lead to more misunderstanding and hatred.