Thursday, October 6, 2011

Religious Intolerance

Let me interrupt my daily artwork and useless lists with something serious. I don't associate with any particular religion, though I've said in the past that I most closely identify with pagan beliefs that we should treat others with kindness and respect, be thankful to nature for all that it provides us and try to take care of nature in return, and just generally be nice and peaceful. Occasionally, someone will ask me why I don't have a religion, and the answer is simple: I don't like all the intolerances that religions preach.
I'm going to pick on Christianity for a minute here, so bear with me. I have seen so many sites, books, magazines, etc. written "in the name of God" that talk about how gays are evil, how we should try to get the whole world to abandon their own religions and convert, how pagans are evil and worship the devil, and so forth.
In my opinion, if you're using your religion to preach hatred and intolerance, you're doing it wrong. Hating people for who they naturally are, what they believe, and what they do is all sorts of morally wrong, and when you start preaching those views to others, you're just inciting more hate. That isn't what religion is about.  Religion is about devoting yourself to something you love. It's not a tool for violence and prejudice.
There are, of course, the people who also have incredibly radical beliefs and refuse to learn all the facts, then they spread hatred and half-truths to get others to think the way they do. On one hand, it's absolutely comical to read the claims that communism is a secret weapon of the Illuminati, and on the other, it's really pathetic that someone can believe so fully that a Greek god of fertility is a god of rape. 
I just think it's really sad to see so many people who worship a being that's all about love hating so many things. My boyfriend's parents are a great example of this. They won't hate you if you're gay, but there's no chance in hell they'd go to a non-Christian wedding. They see that as "supporting the movement," even though it has nothing to do with any movement and has everything to do with supporting the people you love. It recently came up with my boyfriend that if we ever get married, the ceremony will likely be a pagan hand-fasting ceremony. We're 100% certain that they would refuse to attend their own son's marriage just because it's a religion they don't want to "support."
In short, stop it with all the hate. You're not making the world a better place; you're making it a more divided place. 

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