A youth pastor (name withheld) once said “There is simply nothing we can do about the rise of atheism but accept the inevitable and hope they do not treat us the way Christians have treated them.”
I personally really like this quote. As stated in my previous article, I just recently outed myself as an atheist, until then I was silent about my atheism; accepting religion as a necessity for some people. This quote more or less embodies my reasoning for outing myself as an atheist and no longer being silent about religions.
There are many religions around the world which accept that there is no overarching god-of-all-things, Buddhism being one of them. I have to say this is one of my biggest problems with the majority of religions. Their lack of acceptance for other religions or lack thereof. As of now in the world there are 7 countries which can put their citizens to death for being atheists. This is the kind of thing that we need to fight for.
The other thing I feel I should bring up is the relationship between religion and the education system. I’ve never had to deal with this issue, but I’ve read news article from the southern USA about schools teaching children about religion and about creationism instead of evolution and freethinking. This is morally wrong. It is just as wrong as telling a child that if he or she is not good, they will go to hell when they die. In my eyes, that’s child abuse; teaching them to fear the wrath of god rather than to develop their own morals and opinions.
Last year Alexander Aan in Indoneisia, was sentenced to 2-years and 6-months in jail for posting on his Facebook that “god does not exist”. On top of his jail time, he was charged a USD$10,600 fine under Indonesia’s criminal code.
I realize that this is just my opinion, and I also feel I should point out that there is no reason for any person of any faith to care about whether or not another person is religious or not. I just want everyone to have that choice. The choice to believe in a god; any god; or to be an atheist. If everyone had that choice, I wouldn’t care; but they don’t. Children get indoctrinated into religions every day. Schools in the southern states continue to teach creationism (teaching creationism fosters ignorance, and destroys knowledge but that’s another article) places of worship around the world continue to persecute those who do not have a religion. Some of them even putting atheists to death.
My point is this, don’t teach any religion. Don’t teach atheism or agnosticism either. Teach facts; teach evolution. Let the children form their own beliefs. I’m not fighting for religious freedom. I’m fighting for the generations of children yet to come.
By Alex Hicks