A friend on Facebook posted that he was glad the White House still called the tree that was erected this week a “Christmas Tree”. Chaos ensued as atheists attacked Christians, Muslims were called out as terrorists, liberals and conservatives were vilified, and, as all Internet comment threads will eventually lead to (see “Godwin’s Law”), Adolf Hitler’s name was invoked. Here are my two cents, for your amusement and consideration:
I have spent my entire life developing my sense of self, beliefs, and morality. I carry these things with me and they are the foundation of every decision I make, every word I say, everything I do. I do not need to be reminded of them every week on Sunday, I do not need to read them in a book, and I do not need to ask for forgiveness when I fail to adhere to them, because the only person I have failed is myself.
Someone once told me he assumed I was religious because of the wonder and beauty I see in sunsets. I told him that as an atheist I see sunsets as naturally occuring phenomena, so with my explanation they just happen to be breathtakingly awesome, whereas with his they’re expected to be.
Originally posted July 16, 2009
OK, so I have a problem. I was thinking about something that sort of bothered me: the contradictions I remembered that initially turned me from the church. So, after several years, I decided to take a more mature approach, and do some quick reading. This isn’t full research, mostly because I haven’t got the time and get far too frustrated, but I post it here as food for thought, and I’d like some clarification or even comments.
Here’s what started it all: I was watching some video produced by the Family Research Council to make the point that hate crimes legislation that would specifically include crimes against gays would inherently criminalize religious leaders who preach that homosexuality is a sin. Basically, the argument is that if a preacher says homosexuality is a sin, he could be prosecuted for hate speech.