Happy Vesākha, everyone!
Buddha’s birthday reminds me of this one story that I’d like to share with you all. A colleague who considers himself a devout christian, hears that I am an atheist and asks me about it. This guy is gay by the way, this is important. Note that I have no problems with gays at all, some of my best friends are gay.
God is a concept created by man and it evolved into a tool or weapon.
Anyway, he goes on to ask me why I don’t believe in God, and if I’m afraid of what the repercussions will be. I explain my view that God is a concept created by man to explain what he cannot understand, and how it has evolved into a tool or a weapon if you will, to control people through a cliched rewards and punishment system. I say I believe man has a natural instinct to believe in something bigger than himself, and I respect that, except I hate how religious organizations have abused and exploited this weakness. I especially expressed my disdain for the Catholic church, because to be fair, it is the religion I am most familiar with, having grown up Catholic myself. So he suggests I look for another religion, and asks me what I would like. I say Buddhism, and then the most WTF thing happens. This guy fucking laughs at me and says “hahaha so pano ba yan, sinasamba mo tao? hindi ang diyos?”. I was blown away by the sheer ignorance and arrogance of this statement. First of all, Buddhism is not about worship and second, the arrogance that stems from the fact that he thinks what he believes is what is true and correct, is just appalling.
So I ask him about how being gay and Catholic works, because we can’t ignore or tiptoe around the fact that the Bible and orthodox Christianity clearly does not approve of this.
Why would you associate yourself with a group that persecutes you for being who you are?
You can’t pick out what parts of your Bible or your religion you want to believe. You can’t just keep fooling yourself and say “ignore these old school fundies, God is totally cool with this”. You can’t keep fooling yourself that you can still go to your religion’s concept of heaven if you are not playing by its rules. You can’t just keep saying that it’s okay, eventually my being gay would be acceptable. Why would you associate yourself with a group that persecutes you for being who you are? Instead of me choosing a religion, why not detach yourself from a religion that clearly does not approve of your lifestyle, and rid yourself of all this unnecessary self doubt and guilt? You can keep your faith and beliefs without being in a religious organization…
He clams up, walks away and has not talked to me since. I wish there could have been a happier ending to this story, but who knows… maybe I got through.
I appreciate the Biblical concept of the “golden rule”, which is not originally a Christian thing by the way, and I agree that it’s a great credo to live your life by. I hate how organized religion has turned a good concept into a fear mongering, tax evading empire; and how it turns a lot of its people into bigoted, arrogant sheep who could not fathom the validity of religions other than their own.
Sorry for the wall of text that is apparently becoming my trademark :p