I’ve been pretty harsh in my views toward superstitious beliefs in general and religion in particular. You find what I have to say offensive. Thats fine, because I find things you have to say offensive as well. There is nothing wrong with being offended. It happens to everyone about something or other at some point.
What I find annoying and sad is when you feel that I am somehow persecuting you by my stance on these issues. This is just plain wrong. That you feel persecuted reflects your sense of privilege and superiority because you feel that you are right because your god tells you so. It is exactly this self righteous attitude that I despise and rail against. It isn’t your beliefs I find offensive, but the effects of those beliefs upon everyone else.
I believe that everyone has a right to believe whatever they want to believe; to worship (or not) as they wish. The one caveat is that your beliefs and your worshiping are yours, not everyone else’s. Talk about them to others if you (and they) wish, but don’t preach. Express your views on morality, but don’t seek to impose your morality upon others.
This also goes for your actions. If you believe that prayer alone can cure you, great. Just don’t insist on only using prayer when your child or someone else you love is ill. If they are receiving medical treatment and you think prayer will help, fine. But don’t insist that god will save your loved one by prayer alone because plenty of people have died needlessly because prayer was substituted for sound medical treatment.
Also, don’t try to legislate your morality so that it is imposed upon all of us. The current GOP/Religious Right’s war against women and LGTB’s is a perfect example. It is religion that causes the party of small government that does not intrude into our private lives to perpatrate the hypocrisy of passing laws that intrude into the most private parts of our lives: reproductive rights and the right to chose who to love and who to commit your life to.
It has often been said that religion cause good people to do terrible things. History certainly seems to bear this out. The imposition of Islam upon those that they conquered; the crusades where the Christian did the same to the Muslims and Jews; the hundreds of years of wars and the burning of thousands at the stake over differing versions of Christianity; the thousands of Muslim and Hindus killed in the partitioning of India.
So, feel free to hold your beliefs dear to you. Worship as you wish. But, keep these things out of the public sphere where they can do no harm, or infringe upon the rights of the rest of us.