Secularize This

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Proof is in the Pudding

I would like to lead off with saying that Patriot Day is a ridiculous name for the remembrance of the terror attacks that happened on September 11, 2001.  I'm sure that we can come up with a better name than Patriot Day, until then I refuse to call it Patriot Day.  That being said I will go into the blog.

As most people in the United States were doing today, I too was recounting the tragic events that occurred this day 10 years ago.  My wife was pregnant with our first child and we were wondering what kind of world she would have to grow up in.  I, like most people, felt for the first time a sense of uncertainty.  The United States has always had a natural protection in both the east and west with the Atlantic & Pacific Oceans respectfully.  During World War II the Japanese had so few attacks on the west coast we can count them on one hand.  The closest the Germans got to the east coast was sinking a few ships by submarine attacks in a few harbors up and down the coast, no real onslaught on the general population.  Our sense of security was shattered in a matter of moments that September morning when 19 Muslim extremists high jacked 4 jetliners and turn these massive flying objects and transform them into the true weapons of mass destruction.  We all know this story so I won't dwell too much on this part.

What I want to reflect on is the extremists that performed the act.  ANY individual that can take a "sacred text" as being literal instruction rather than just a simple guide or historical reference (not that it would be reliable for that either) is no more than a sheep and that is exactly what the religious leaders want.  Please take note that in the opening of this paragraph I did not say Muslim extremists because there are extremists of all shapes, sizes and religious convictions.  We are quick to forget the tragedy that shook Oklahoma City in 1995, the number of abortion clinics that have been bombed or the doctors that have been murdered because they perform abortions.  We are no strangers to home grown terror being performed in the name of God.  This is the same thing that happened September 11, 2001.  Whether you refer to your god as Yahweh or Allah, it is the same "God".  The difference comes down to which prophet you follow.  Jews believe that their messiah has not yet come to Earth while Christians believe that Jesus was the messiah.  Muslims branch off a bit following the teachings of Mohammad who, like Jesus, assented into Heaven in an extravagant light show.  The point here is that these three major religions that are at odds with one another all come from the same founder in Abraham.  It is safe to say that the majority of Christians would find it absurd if I came running out of the woods saying I found evidence of a lost tribe from Israel, also finding golden tablets containing stories of Jesus coming to America and that the Garden of Eden was in Missouri.  Despite how ridiculous Christians see this, there are two people vying for the Republican nomination for president in the 2012 election, but heaven forbid that a Muslim attempt to run for president, we are a Christian nation.  Another example, if I run around saying that I am the second coming of Christ one of three things could happen; 1) most likely I will be locked in a padded room 2) I will gain followers like the apostles and have an entourage go around to spread my lunacy to others or 3) I get shot by an extremist for offending their religious belief.

I have met many Christians and Muslims in my time on this planet and I can say that they are both considerably polite and pleasant individuals.  They chose to be good people.  I would like to think that goodness is an innate human trait that we give more credit than what is due to religion.  Religion is a man made concept to help explain the inexplicable.  That was fine and dandy 3000 years ago when science wasn't developed, but now that we do have a scientific process to question and a method to test to come to a conclusion, do we really need religion?  There has been more harm done in the name of religion throughout history than any other cause.  The Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition covered three centuries and spanned to the New World, Hitler (a baptized Catholic) wanted to rid the world of the problematic Jews, Milosevic followed the genocide plan in trying to rid Bosnia of the Muslims, nearly a million innocent people in Rwanada killed for being from a certain tribe and the Catholic priests and nuns helped, the Taliban and Ayatollah have set the Middle East region back centuries by taking literal translations of the Qur'an to heart, and finally the tragic events of 9/11.

I am far from the praying type.  I am a humanist and hope for the best for everyone.  I never wish harm to come to anybody because I feel that nobody should endure any agony.  John Lennon said it best in "Imagine";

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for Today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

This was the dream of one man.  I too imagine a world without religion.  We are not a mass amount of heathens running a muck creating chaos, we go about with our ordinary lives, living for the day.  I leave you with this.  We are cousins killing cousins.  We are all humans no matter what our beliefs are.  We put too much value into religion and yet have no evidence of any deity existing.  We are brainwashed from the time we are baptized to believe everything our elders say about religion and never to question it.  It is this indoctrination, in ANY belief system that hurts society and causes tragedies that we remember on this day.  Here is an alternate view of what our world would be like without religion.

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