Recently, on Facebook, when I updated an anti-religious status message accompanied with a photo, I got lot of open as well as private comments from religious believers. Some brilliant-heads ‘reported’ that image too.
After updating that anti-religious status on Facebook, some people (religious, of course) sent messages into my inbox and expressed their hatred towards me for my atheistic stand. They want me to remove that status update. And if I don’t do so, they warned that, they will unfriend me.
Unfriending me? Are you kidding me?
Their messages felt so amusing to me. I told them, I won’t remove the post and you have all the freedom to unfriend me. They did their part well and I guess, some of them blocked me as well.
I don’t understand how their mind works. Is religious belief greater and truthful than friendship or humanity? No, it is not. Are we here to stay in love and peace, live like brothers and sisters? Yes it is. I believe in humanism and humanity.
I believe, Facebook and other social networking sites are a great platform to network with friends, boost business and express your ideas as well as opinions freely. I always love to express my opinions and ideas. I love blogging as well. And I believe, as a citizen of a free, democratic and secular country like India, I have the right and freedom to do so.
I don’t have any respect for any gods, belief systems or religions. I believe in loving and respecting my parents, friends and relatives who deserves it.
It is wrong to keep some set of stupid ideas, concepts and Bronze Age myths immune to criticism and analysis. And those people who have such non-sense beliefs, they don’t have any right to tell another person not to criticize their beliefs.
An idea should be re-examined, tested and criticized. Then only it can be developed and taken to another level. If you come up with an idea, and tell that, it’s your belief and others shouldn’t have any right to criticize, ridicule, and analyze your idea. How stupid you sound like!
An atheist is born not by reading innumerous atheistic, anti-religious or science books. Of course, Reading is an important factor but it should be backed up by experience. Then only a person breaks the chain of religion, stupid faith and comes out freely.
And trust me; an atheist got more interesting and informative story to tell you than a theist.
I would like to unfold my story on how I became an atheist. Hope you will enjoy and take a cue from it.
I was born for Roman Catholic parents. But unfortunately I was raised in some sort of Pentecostal belief system. The reason was my grandfather, basically an arrogant person who had converted himself and his family from Catholicism to Pentecostal Mission due to some personal reasons. His conversion has led most of the sub families in my main family got converted to Pentecostal Mission.
So, by his ‘holy’ conversion inside Christianity itself, he demolished the foundations of a great family in the first place. He was, in fact, ignorant enough not to understand the insanity of his deed. Afterwards, some couldn’t stand Pentecostal Mission and converted themselves to Protestantism, some went to Marthoma Church and some stayed as they are: Roman Catholic.
My father was an atheist who had an ideological inclination towards Marxism and Leninism but after all, he respected all religions. He wasn’t militant or rebellious. He never forced me to go to church every Sunday or worship any gods. Big thanks to him.
I really didn’t like the beliefs and prayer system of Pentecostal Mission. They are ridiculous to a great extent. They often talk in tongues (some sort of heavenly language, I assume) during prayer time. And they say with pride that they got it directly transmitted to their brain from heaven. They shiver, dance and shout while praying. As a young kid, it felt really scary to me.
During my childhood, I was actually scared to attend their Sunday prayer meetings. But I love my cousins. I love to play with them. Only because of that reason, half heartedly, I used to attend that psychotic event every Sunday.
But, gradually, while attending their prayers, the pastor, my aunts and uncles who were devout believers in Protestantism started brainwashing me. They took me to children unit of their sect where they provide us with comic stories where Jesus or god is the hero; enforcing us to believe that god is too powerful to control all of us from the sky.
And the aftermath of not believing in him is the reward of endless torture in hell. They were highly scary, terrible concepts for a small kid like me to ponder upon. A horrible place full of fire, worms and diseases! It was a terrible thought injected into the mind of a young boy. But they tried their best to convince me that the god who created heaven and hell loves me so much. Moreover, He died for me! Died for my sins! (I still don’t understand what the fuck did I do?)
At that point of time, I was inspired. Even though, if my loving parents left me at any point of my life, Jesus will be there! That was a comforting idea for such a young kid. In fact, they were injecting the virus of religion into my brain.
If the above mentioned event happened at the present moment of my life, I would have spitted on their holy book and raised middle finger to that pastor.
They told me about fasting. They also mentioned that Jesus will love me more if I don’t eat food and read bible for whole day.
I did it once. That was the most terrible thing ever happened in my life.
I was just 8 years old. I started fasting on an auspicious day. And that auspicious day turned out as a terrible, unforgettable day in my life.
I skipped my breakfast. I spent most of my time praying to my imaginary friend, Jesus. I went so hungry by noon but courageously skipped lunch. (Jesus is on my side… then why worries?) I tried to forget my hungriness by reading Bible. Some wise mind told that reading Bible will make you escape from the real world. But by afternoon, I became so fatigued. By evening, I collapsed.
Jesus never came for rescue but my atheist dad did. He took me to the hospital. After all the primary medication had been done, I became alright and ready to live.
My dad and I came home. Only thing I could hear was his shouting and scolding everyone at home for letting me fast. He also threatened my aunts and uncles that he would never let me attend their prayers and meetings. He was so angry and frustrated. He loves his kid more than an imaginary god.
But I was too young. Sadly, I believed in those fairy tales.
Everything took different turn when I started preaching my religious beliefs in my school. The school I was studying was run by Roman Catholic priests and nuns. Obviously, they never encourage protestant beliefs there.
What my aunts, uncles and pastor taught me is that, whatever their religion or Christian sect, it is only whoever who believes in Protestantism is going to win heaven. Jesus will take care of them day and night.
What else I need? Nothing! Faith is everything.
I founded a religious movement called ‘Jesus Army’. I Preached Protestantism in my class and converted most of my colleagues who includes Hindus, Muslims and Roman Catholics.
We loved Jesus. We prayed to him. We had united under one name: Jesus. We are under an umbrella called Jesus Army! We believed in original sin, resurrection, salvation and judgment day.
But in reality, things are taking a different (to me, ruthless) turn.
One day, Roman Catholic nuns who were our instructors found out my activities. They suspended me from that institution. They called on my parents and held up a meeting.
While writing this post, I still can clearly recollect that day not in Black & White but in CMYK and RGB.
When my mom and dad came to the school, I was kneeling under hot sun and hot sand under my delicate knee. My mom was about to cry and my dad’s face reddened. Within few minutes after they entered the office room, the peon comes out and relieved me out of the punishment.
On the way back home, I could see a stick in my dad’s hand. He was not talking to me anything.
But after reaching home, he asked me: “Who the hell you think you are? A saint or something?” he started scolding and beating me. I deserved that.
He also added that, “You are not going attend any kind of prayer meeting from today. I sent you to school to study, not to preach religion. It’s a poison. I don’t want your mind to be polluted by that. Think logically, you will win. Truth is not written in any book, it’s what we find out.” He shouted at me. I never saw my dad so angry at me ever in my life.
All activities of Jesus Army got dismissed. I stopped preaching ‘good news’ and finally peace had dawned upon my class and the school.
Dad didn’t let me go to any prayer meetings thereafter. Henceforth, Sundays became the days I sat at home, read and study.
As a young boy, my mind was open to new ideas. Gradually I came to understand that different people have different belief systems and religious inclinations. I have no right to tell them that my god is bigger one and yours is a smaller yet irrelevant one. That’s really egoistic and illogical. It is same as telling that my god has got bigger dick than your god. It sounds so ridiculous. It is meaningless.
The day I start reading more books other than Bible, more I came to understand the contributions of science to humanity rather than religions or any gods. During my higher studies I got exposed to the writings and thoughts of Joseph Edamarukku, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens who are popular rationalists, writers and scientists.
Their thoughts made my mind clear and my thoughts colorful. My mind was becoming free from the clutches of the concept of god as well as religion.
Religion to Reason.
“In the beginning, man created god” – Anonymous
If there is a god who had created us and the whole universe, why there are so many religions in this world those believes in different gods? Even the biggest religion in the world – Christianity is divided into number of sects based on belief. It is great evidence that it is men who created (still creating) god not vice versa.
When you compare the contributions of religion to the contributions of science, you can understand which one has been contributed positively to the development of human race.
Religion can boast of the comfort and hope it offers to the people who need it. But giving false comfort and hope on a fictional story and nonexistent paradise is simply wrong and unethical.
When you start thinking out of the box which religion and gods created over your head, you will feel more freedom and your mind will become more open to new thoughts and to the world.
“My god is your god. His dick is bigger than other gods’ dick. If you don’t worship my god, you will go to hell. This world is a place full of sin. It is unworthy. Give up your family, wealth and embrace me. Then, my god will bless you with an eternal paradise. Live, die and kill for me. Let you live in eternal bliss.”
I started hating to call ourselves sinners. I started hating concepts like: the world is a place full of sinners and fraudulent people. The world is transitory. The world is a devil’s paradise. Hell and Heaven.
Basically, those are propaganda to steal your wealth from the reality in promise of a heavenly life in the sky.
A person with common sense can understand what sort of bull shit ideas are those.
More I free myself from the belief and faith, more freely my mind starts to work. I understood that there is nothing to fear in this world but only to be understood. The more you understand, more fearless you become. Indeed, it takes courage, thirst for knowledge and persistence to understand something. Most of the people lack those qualities so they hold on to their faith, find answers out of thin air or from some ‘holy’ book and comfort themselves.
Free, rational and atheistic thinking made me let go of supernatural entities like Jesus, Satan, ghosts and other dark forces. It made me fearless. If you believe in god, you have to believe in Satan as well. If you don’t believe in god there is no need to believe in either. One shot, two birds!
At the conclusion of this write up, I would like to answer one common question and also a claim raised by religious friends of mine:
Why can’t you keep your Atheism to yourself?
The answer is quite simple and straight:
If the believers can display on their cars ‘My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter’; ‘ Praise the Lord’ on the top of their houses’ entrance doors and ‘God is Our Savior’ in their toilets, what is being wrong in shouting out that I don’t buy in to this crap and also I don’t give a fuck about your god?
Let me quote Muhammad Ali (a believer) and Christopher Hitchens (An atheist) to make my answer more clear.
“I’m absolutely convinced that main source of hatred in this world is organized religion. I think the religions should be treated with ridicule, hatred and contempt. I claim that right” Christopher Hitchens.
“A rooster crows only when it sees the light. Put him in the dark and he’ll never crow. I have seen the light and I’m crowing”- Muhammad Ali.
Secondly, it’s a claim – I’m offended.
That’s a ridiculous claim I ever heard from anyone. You are offended by what? In reality, you are offended by truth. You can’t blame an atheist for criticizing or ridiculing your god or religion.
In fact, you religious believers offend each other more often than an atheist. When a Muslim offers prayers in mosque, he is actually offending a Christian who is attending a mass in church. Both of them consider each other as infidels.
Moreover, no war had ever been waged in the name of Atheism in history. So, I believe in Science, Reason and therefore, in Atheism. I’m an Atheist.