This is the sort of thing i normally keep private, but something appeared on my google plus stream today that warranted a small rant.
The post in question was primarily the following jpg:
The person who posted this had a comment stream that included him agreeing with a sentiment that “the world would be a much better place without religion” and that he felt like it could happen in the next couple of hundred years.
Before i proceed, i should provide a bit of personal background. I was raised as a baptist christian. My religious upbringing was split into two parts that fuzz together in my brain. One was a chinese church group that shared its space with a non-ethnic church and went back and forth between having its own congregation vs having combined ones where the sermon would be done in two languages side by side (if the american pastor was leading it, he’d speak a line, then it would get translated in chinese and vice versa). The other was being a part of a youth group of a different church, not really always a part of the congregation but being immersed in the social aspects of that group.
Christianity was not something that i really latched on to as a literal concept. I remember thinking that there was a great hypocrisy not necessarily in the teachings themselves but in how that teaching translated to the actions of the people in my peer group at the time. The chinese pastor was one of those “you are all going to hell” harsh types that would seem to have no impact on the kids my age who would do things that i felt were contrary to our teachings. Nothing serious, your normal sort of kid stuff, but it struck me as odd that the principles, even if the delivery and method were sometimes misguided, would leave so little impact on how my peer group would then decide to act.
In the summer of 1993 I marched my first drum corps and that ended up taking away all of my weekends in the summer months prior to going to college, and i never went back to a church service after that. I found myself in a space where i believed in some sort of higher power, but not agreeing that Christianity was the right interpretation. Later this evolved into the belief that i hold now, which is that no one on earth has any particular authority on the subject. I don’t know if there’s a higher power of any religion or not, i don’t pretend to know, and i don’t think anyone else does either.
That said, the above jpg and the attitude that comes with it as an attack on Christianity and the concept that “the world would be so much better without religion” really irks me.