IMO corrections about western religons

Jim Barnebee (
Thu, 25 Jun 1998 10:30:08 PDT

My apologies for the delay in posting this to the list. I get the digest
version. I would appreciate any responses be cc'd directly to my e-mail. Wrote:
<< > Religion is trying to help humans in their
lives, but not forcing them to believe >>

>Since when? Every major religion on this planet has as a core tenet
>some variation on the theme that if you are not "of them" you will
>suffer some horrific consequence and instructs its followers to go >out
and "save" those who are non-believers. Missionaries have as one >of
their main goals the conversion of "infidels" into believers.
>Religions and the practisers thereof have routinely and consistently
>attempted to control the behaviour of all peoples, not just those who
>are its followers.

While I grant that this true for the majority of western religions,
it is not true for all western religions, nor does it apply to most of
the eastern religious/philosophical disciplines. Of the Western
religions, one of the oldest is Paganism, which has as a fundamental
principle that "believers" cannot impress their beliefs on others
without being directly asked. Like most of the eastern belief systems,
Paganism considers it incorrect to interfere with another's life path
without permission. The exception to this rule being actions taken to
protect an innocent.

>While it is certainly true that for some people religion, with its
>customs, rituals, and tradition, brings stability, comfort, and peace
>of mind, all to often they insist that I and all others embrace their
>need and their belief system.
>It has been said on this list that it is only fanatics who act in >this
manner, yet I can offer you an easy experiment to demonstrate
>otherwise. Wear a t-shirt out some weekend with a religious message
>printed on it..Jesus Saves or some such. You will rarely if at all >be
remarked upon. Go out the next weekend wearing a t-shirt with an
>anti-religious statement on it. Observe the difference in the
>behaviour of those around you. I don't think you'll like
>the comments you will receive.

While this has the ring of validity to it, most situational
responses to an individual's attire are more of an Ameobic response than
a reasoned one. (5% think, 5% think they think, and 90% wouldn't think
if you tied them up and tried to force them to). Most individuals,
(extropians definitely excluded) are Xenophobic, and react to anything
outside of their perceived "normality" with hostility. If you think
wearing an anti-religious T-shirt will cause you to be shunned by the
majority of knee-jerk society, try dying your skin a deep lush purple
and going out for a night on the town. It's not religion or the lack
thereof that these people are seeking to destroy, it's nonconformity.

>All I ask of religionists is to leave me alone and stop using their
>beliefs to legislate my life. If you think none do, then you haven't >
read the papers lately. (Sen. Nickles statement that Mr. Hormel is
>unfit to represent the US as an Ambassador because, and only because,
>he is a homosexual. That ought to scare the bejabbers out of anyone
>with half a mind.)
>Thanks all, Cori
>..."Ignorance and Prejudice and Fear walk hand in hand..."

I believe the quote goes "God... Save me from some of your followers"

Jim Barnebee

"The future has arrived; it's just not evenly distributed."
-William Gibson

Jim Barnebee

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