by Gray Graham
I have seen quite a few articles written this past week about how religion makes people stupid. Just using that phrase alone sets the negative tone of the conversation. It is Easter week so nothing is really surprising about all of this. Attacking Jesus has become a sport for the 2 - 6% of the US population that are self proclaimed Atheists. What they might find surprising is the number of religious people that agree with a lot of the things that they say. That's right, both Atheists and ultra conservative Christians use the very same arguments when they attack the religious beliefs of others.
Let's be honest when Atheists attack religion what they really mean is Christianity. They generally will not even know anything about the other religions of the world. They actually know very little about Christianity in general. Their view of Christianity is the Christian Right, that powerful political force in the United States that seems to love telling others who is going to Hell and who is going to Heaven. But asked them about Hinduism you will likely get a blank stare followed by I really don't know much about it. Ask about Wicca they probably will start talking about Harry Potter.
I am one of the few people that I know that actually engages in conversations with what I call the militant Atheists of this world. In my experience they primarily come from three camps: those that where the children of bad people that happen to attend a Christian church, those that are the children of militant Atheists themselves, and those that just believe they are just smarter than everyone else.
Now it pretty much goes without saying that anyone that believes themselves to be smarter than everyone else is starting from a pretty low point on the tolerance scale. As the conversation progresses it is pretty clear that their great well of knowledge is greatly lacking in actually study. Since they believe they are smarter than everyone else they have avoided actually studying basic concepts such as psychology and philosophy.
They have pretty much wrapped themselves in this pseudo-science belief based on things that Richard Dawkins, Penn Jillette, and Neil deGrasse Tyson (who is agnostic) have stated using it to take cheap shots at religion. You will hear much about the sexual child abuse in the Catholic church, but you will not hear a word about the millions that religious people feed and clothed every single day. The speak of science as if it was a religion yet the mere act of discussing their beliefs sends them into an uproar.
Probably the thing that really does it for me is the attacks on religion during the gay marriage debate. For many gay marriage supporters, attacks on Christianity and support of gay marriage go hand in hand. It is like they do not even understand that most LGBT people are actually Christians themselves. It seems like they have missed the number of churches that also support gay marriage.
I guess that is easy enough to do when you live in a distortion field where half the country are atheists just like you are. Where even though most of the people in the country are Christians, somehow they are suppose to hide this fact, but it is ok for everyone else to speak on their beliefs in any manner they wish.
While I don't like using the word stupid, there are many people in this world that are stupid and it has nothing to do with their religious beliefs. It has to do with how they treat others in life. It has to do with them being honest with themselves. It has to do with how much they are willing to learn from others. If more people actually did this then the world would be a better place.
I understand it is hard to live in a country as a minority where your beliefs and thoughts are completely ignored. Where you are treated as a second class citizen. Where if you say the wrong thing you could lose your job. Where when you meet someone in person and they find out that you are not what they thought you were then their attitude changes. Trust me I get all of that, but that still does not allow me to treat everyone that happens to share things with those people like they are less than human beings.
For me nothing is as arrogant as believing anyone has all the answers of the universe.
I would suggest that more people actually spend time with people that are not like them and taking the time to actually get to know them instead of just calling them stupid. If you have an open mind you just might learn something.