Blind Leading the Blind

I was home sick recently and so was able to answer the door when my bell was rung.  It was two women who wanted to tell me about the wonderful news that was found in the Bible.  I simply said “Thanks, but we don’t believe in God,” and closed the door.

Now, that’s a very condensed version of how I really feel about religion, but I find it’s much easier to say that I don’t believe in God, than to say “Whether or not God exists, the Bible was 100% written, edited and interpreted by Man.”  Whenever I’ve tried discussing that particular point of view, it normally turns into a long-winded commercial on the religious person’s part to convince me how the Bible was really written by God, and how Jesus died to save me, blah, blah, blah.

I know that last bit sounds rude to people who do believe, and that’s not my intent, but come on.  Christians–especially those who travel door to door in the hopes of converting people–usually have the same speeches rehearsed and ready.  It’s not like they’re capable of coming up with new ways to explain their beliefs; at least, none that I’ve heard.  And that’s one of the main things that bothers me about most about the Christ-based faiths; their inability to talk or think outside of their little box.

My mom has more patience with people like that than I do.  I remember when I was a teenager back in Michigan, we had these two Jehovah’s Witness boys stop by our place one Saturday asking if they could talk to Mom about the good book.  She invited them in, and every now and then they would say something about their faith that she was able to poke a hole in.  To be perfectly honest, there was already a hole in the logic–she simply pointed it out to them–but when she did point out the inconsistency, they asked if they could talk to their advisor about that and come back the following week, to which Mom said “yes.”

This went on for about three weeks–them coming to our home and talking about the Bible, Mom pointing out conflicting truths, and them asking to check with their advisor before returning with answers–until one Saturday, when they came to our door and said “We’re not allowed to talk to you anymore.”  Their advisor had grown weary of Mom’s honesty and questioning of certain beliefs, and decided that she shouldn’t corrupt those young minds anymore.  The boys were truly bummed to not be able to talk about these things with her anymore, but they did what they were told and never came back.

Which brings me back to the issue I have with most Christians: that they seem to blindly follow their pastor/priest/etc, and are only able to spout regurgitated information that their leader has said to them.

I’ve had a few conversations with some believers that have been very deep and thought-provoking, and I relish those, very much.  When someone’s able to talk with knowledge about their beliefs and why they have them–and they’re not merely playing the same broken record they have to listen to every Sunday–then I know that person has truly thought about what they believe.  They’re not some lemming doing or believing what they’re told just because someone in a position of authority told them what to believe/do.  I know somewhere in the Bible it talks about “God’s Sheep,” but I’m sorry, I can’t believe that some sentient being out in space somewhere decided to “give” me free thought, but then decides to punish me for using that gift and not blindly following what someone else says in “His” name.  If you ask me, there are just too many cooks in the kitchen in that scenario, and therefore, too much room for personal interpretation.

And as for me trying to take the time to explain all of that to some religious person like my mother did, no thank you.  There are SO many other things I’d rather do than try to get someone to see my point of view.  It doesn’t hurt me for them to blindly believe what they’re told, and I doubt it would do them much good for me to poke holes in whatever safe little world they exist in.

But I try to be as respectful as I can, and tell them ‘no thank you’ in the nicest way possible.  Because treating my fellow humans with respect is the Golden Rule, and that’s one belief I can wholeheartedly support.

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