Is there a god? The age-old question that has been debated, and wrote about for ages. In reality, I believe that is a senseless question to have. In a world where religious motivated violence plagues everyone’s peace, the important question to ask is whether or not your god is real. When we live in a country where a baker can deny someone a right to purchase a fu***** cake because their “lifestyle” doesn’t agree with the bakers religious beliefs, the question we need to be asking is whether or not you can know for certain that your god is real. Because when you are making life and death decisions based on your convictions from a book supposedly completely authored through inspiration from this “god”, you probably ought to know whether or not that god is real, not just if a god is real.
I want you to close your eyes and imagine god. Not who you have been told to believe, but specifically what you believe god to be like. Now I want you to imagine what heaven is like, who is there, and who is not. I can assure you with 100% certainty that this very specific god is not real. According to everything we know from archaeological digs, and studying the history left by some ancient civilizations, religion was largely restrictive to the local population “back in the day”. In essence, there was no intention to evangelize the world. Now, this very well could have had more to do with the lack of knowledge of a larger community, but it also just simply seemed an attempt to answer life’s most basic fears and unknowns. In that time frame there is certainly little blame that one could cast on our ancestors in having the desire to figure out what all this was about, and especially with such little information available to them. However, we know better now, there is no longer an excuse for actually believing that your god is the only right god, or that there is definitely any god at all. Could there be? Sure, in the same way that there could be a Flying Spaghetti Monster that created everything we see.
What is the point?
My point in writing this blog is to plead with all of you to consider the point of coexisting with other belief systems, even non-belief systems. If it helps you sleep better at night to know that there is a supernatural god at work in the sky caring what you do with your life, then great, believe that. There is zero evidence for it, but knock yourself out. The silliest argument that atheist try and have with a theist is whether or not there is “a god”. That is such a senseless argument for most of these individuals because the real idea that you can, need to, and should destroy, is the notion that their god is the only god, and that everyone else should live according to its rules. This is the debate to have. Not whether or not there is a god at all. There are too many variables for that debate. There are too many possibilities, as we atheist like to point out with things such as the Flying Spaghetti Monster (no offense to those who genuinely follow this possible deity). However, there are absolutely zero ways that anyone can prove with certainty that their specific god is real. According to several sources there are approximately 4,200 different religious beliefs (this number includes variants within the same overarching belief system, i.e. denominations). Approximately 75% of the world worships under one of five possible religions, which are Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Of these five religions, Christianity and Islam are the most widespread. These values, and ethics vary from sect to sect, but in just the two largest religions heads are being chopped off, daughters are being murdered (honor killings), and people are being discriminated against (at a minimum) if you do not line up with what their god says is the right way to live. One of the common questions that theist like to ask is how do we know right from wrong as atheist, but I would argue that when removed from the overarching bondage of religious orthodoxy you can better attain for yourself what is right and what is wrong.
We need to have an understanding that when it comes to religious freedom, this does not give you the right to impose your religious beliefs on me, or prohibit me from participating in things that your god would forbid. If you want to operate in the open market then you should be made to serve all of your customers. If you desire to have a family, for the love of humanity, love your children no matter what their sexual orientation. Please, do not let your religious beliefs harm your ability to have empathy, and understanding of someone’s situation. This world needs a lot more love in it, and religion is the last place most people these days think of going to get it. We may not know whether or not a god is real at all, but we certainly know that the specific god you have thought up in your head is not real. The chances are slimmer then winning the lottery. As Bill Maher says in his segment on Real Time on HBO, “I don’t know it for a fact…I just know it’s true”. This doesn’t need to cause you anxiety, or anger. You need to accept this reality, and open your arms, your hearts, and your lives to people outside of your cult. It could do you some good. You might just realize your god playing banjo with Hank Williams Jr. aint the only god out there. Now, go crack open a beer with an atheist, or a muslim, or someone of a different race, or gender orientation, and learn something about someone else other then yourself. Let’s do this together!
For the truth,
The godless Pastor
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