As a very loud, and unapologetic atheist, the question that I receive the most is “if you don’t believe in ‘god,’ then what do you believe in? You have to believe in something, right?” And as a very loud and unapologetic woman, I usually tell them to ‘fuck off.’
I have never heard of a person having to explain their religion to another, so why should I have to justify my lack thereof?
My readers, as amazing as they may be, are trouble-makers. They love conflict and controversy. They enjoy having debates under my Instagram posts, and I’ll admit that I love starting them. That being the case, this is for you. The person who finds it hilarious whenever I tell someone off or make a sarcastic remark. The ones who are dedicated to reading each post and even request my opinion on certain topics. I owe you an explanation.
Here it is: I am not against the thought of “god,” because I have my own “god” (I just don’t call it that). I am, however, completely opposed to organized religion. (I guess I am more of an anti-theist than an atheist but that just sounds weird).
This brings about my main belief that I do not need religion to be a good person. The things you do should not be a direct effect of the consequences or rewards that you think are coming. A quote I live by is, “you are who you are when nobody is looking.” Answer this, if it was not a commandment, or not in the bible - would you still do the ‘right’ thing? If the answer is no, then you do not need religion, what you’re missing is morality.
What’s wrong with religion?
Children are sponges who absorb every single word a person says, let alone teaches. To tell a child repeatedly what to believe, is pretty much a way of suppressing the intelligence that they would later need. Telling them that God made the world 6,000 years ago, and to dismiss anyone who tells him/her differently is a form of accepting ignorance.
If you catch a child young enough, while their brain is still developing, and feed them the same thing over and over again, you can persuade them to think anything you want. (For example: Dexter)
Religion teaches you to limit your knowledge by simply saying ‘god did it.’
Indoctrination is the process of inculcating ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or a professional methodology. It is often distinguished from education by the fact that the indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically examine the doctrine they have learned.
In layman’s terms, the indoctrination of religion is pretty much brainwashing.
Answer these questions for me:
-When was the first time you heard of your religion? (that you remember)
-If you were born in a different part of the world (not the USA), lets say Asia or Iraq, would you still identify with the religion that you do now?
Now, if you said yes to the last question - please allow me to call you a fucking liar. Religion is geographically determined.
Think about it: thousands of religions, millions of convinced believers -
now, tell me again why yours is the right one?
Recently, while receiving my daily dosage of TED talks, I came across a specific post that caught my interest. It is called ‘Letting Go of God,’ by Julia Sweeney. (TED > All Talks > Atheism > ‘Julia Sweeney: Letting go of God’) In her speech, she explained that she was raised Christian, went to Catholic school her entire life, was baptized, did her first communion and confirmation - and ultimately began to question her conventional faith and beliefs. (She’s hilarious, definitely recommend this video!)
Here are a few excerpts from the Catholic / Christian bible:
Exodus 21:7-10: You can sell your daughter into slavery and allow her master to rape her.
Leviticus 19:20-22: You can rape your female slave and be forgiven, but the slave must be punished.
Exodus 21:20-21: Bible condones slavery — “When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.”
1 Corinthians 7:4: Apparently, misogyny is a command from God. — “For the wife does not rule over her own body, but the husband does.”
Timothy 2:11: Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or have authority over men, she is to keep silent.”
“I don’t know if God exists, but it would certainly be better for his reputation if he didn’t.”
My war on religion will end the day that women, gays, certain races aren't discriminated against because of a man-made book. The day that an underdeveloped mind is not brainwashed into believing that it needs to be ‘saved’ and threatened into following bullshit ‘commandments’ that have nothing to do with being a good person. I do not need any kind of religious doctrine because I have a perfectly working mind that knows right from wrong and questions everything it hears.
To answer your question, yes, I do believe in something bigger than myself. And though that power is not Jesus Christ, “God,” or Allah, etc., I’ve realized that they have a lot in common!
(Of course, you’d have to ignore the indoctrination of children, intolerance of gays, belittlement and strong belief in submission of women, and then MAYBE you’ll be able to pick out the good - but, you get the point).
The Universe is my God. There is no need for worship, no ridiculous set of laws, no contradictions, no brainwashing and it accepts every single person regardless of gender, race, and sexual orientation.
There is only one rule: Think good thoughts, do good deeds, and radiate gratitude, and good things will come back to you.
Have you ever waited for a train, and just as you’re about to walk into a cart, something tells you to go into another one? Then while standing on that second-thought train-cart, you bump into someone you haven’t seen in years?
Earlier today, I walked to the store with my co-worker. Almost on cue, an all white Range-Rover speeds past us, leaving our mouths practically watering. I say, ‘look at my car passing by, isn’t she gorgeous?’ and she responds with “Beautiful, I will own that exact car by the end of the year.” Amazed, and honestly quite relieved by her positive outlook on life, I said “If you believe it, you can make it happen. Trust me.” What she said next triggered an avalanche of thoughts: “I have witnessed so many miracles that I am absolutely certain that God is watching out for me. I can tell you stories that even I have difficulty believing. My faith was strong, but it is now more powerful than ever because of these small wonders around me that cannot be written off as coincidences. He is real, and He grants me everything I ask for.”
Naturally, my mouth dropped. These are the exact same thoughts that I worship every single day. For a second, I thought I was speaking to myself. The only difference was that my co-worker decides to believe God is a person in the sky, while I choose to accept that God is the sky.
I believe that you are meant to live your life in abundance. I also trust that anything, literally anything, you ask for - if you believe hard enough it will appear into your life. Your thoughts shape your reality. I know exactly what my co-worker was speaking about because I live it.
I spend my days attracting smalls events or items just to make me smile. Coffee, messages, and even people. Today as I turned on Pandora, I thought “I want to listen to “Hey There Delilah” by The Plain White Tee’s. It took a while to load so I focused on the title as I waited. 10 seconds later the requested song began.
Remember that train scene I just mentioned?
Well, that memory hits a little closer to home than you’d expect. About two years ago, during my dreadful retail days, I was rushing to work (as usual). I grabbed what I thought was a red nail polish, and ran to the train station. When I arrived, not only was the train just pulling away, but I noticed that I grabbed the wrong color. I sat quietly, and began to quickly, in fear of annoying someone with the pungent smell, paint my nails on the train. Well, turns out that the woman next to me loved my nails. I spoke to her for 20 minutes and after winning her over with my charm (haha), she handed me her card.
If I wasn’t late to work,
If I wouldn’t have missed my train,
If I would’ve chosen the correct color of polish,
I would have never met the president of Iman Cosmetics.
My face is on the fucking website of a million dollar industry because I painted my nails on the train.
Everything happens for a reason. Everything is connected.
About 2 years ago I abruptly resigned from my underpaid retail job - deciding that I will no longer be unhappy. I literally clocked-out one night and never went back, without the slightest clue of how I was going to pay my bills. However, instead of worrying about being evicted, I decided to focus on beginning my career. The only thing that I made clear was that I would never be unhappy at a work place again. The next morning I received a call from the DOE. Apparently they found my resume and wanted to offer me a position. I was essentially unemployed for… what? 8 hours?
I had no choice but to smile - look up and say “Thank you.” Now that’s what you call ‘the Universe at work.’ Or ‘God,’ whatever you’re comfortable with.
What’s right with religion?
Here are a few more excerpts from the bible:
Matthew 7:7-8: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
Philippians 4:6-13: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
“You can bring anything with your thoughts. Align yourself with God consciousness and you can bring about truth in material form. What you think, you create.”
In all honesty, I was very surprised that bible had such uplifting words. I understand that THIS is what some people mean when they think of Christianity, not the hateful aspect of it. However, those same people have to grasp the fact that organized religion as a whole is the problem. My morals do not allow me to believe in a deity that picks favorites. Nor will I forgive myself for worshiping a religion that speaks so horribly of certain people, even if I do choose to only focus on the delightful perspective of it (like most people do).
Though I do not need acceptance from anybody - I felt like this post was vital in clearing up any speculation about my faith.
I want adults, wait let me rephrase that - I want sane, smart, unbrainwashed and awake adults to research religions - ALL of them. Look into them, and then choose - is Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Catholicism... the one for me?
I don’t want you to think like me.
I just want you to think.