To start with, what is this archaic bugaboo called “religion”?
My trusted Merriam-Webster dictionary offers the following definition:
“Religion is an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a God or a group of gods.”
To me, religion is the refuge of lost souls.
It is a mythology propped by dogmas (principles laid down as incontrovertibly true) that cannot be challenged.
To an enlightened person, nothing should ever remain unchallenged.
Dogmas are the enemies of progress, and religious dogmas are the enemies of humanity.
In a fast changing world, everything needs to be periodically revisited and updated, including religious tenets.
“Intelligent men do not decide any subject until they have carefully examined both or all sides of it. Fools, cowards, and those too lazy to think, accept blindly, without examination, dogmas and doctrines imposed upon them in childhood by their parents, priests, and teachers, when their minds were immature and they could not reason.”
James Hervey Johnson
The two most popular religions worldwide (Christianity and Islam) have long been beacons of intolerance and cruelty. Their motto has long been “You are either with us or against us. If you are against us you deserve to die.”
And died they did (and still do), by the thousands.
It has been estimated that the French Wars of Religion alone (1562-1598) which pitted Catholics against Huguenots claimed at least 2,000,000 victims.
ISIS reign of terror will probably surpass that number.
That’s why I am so deeply suspicious of so-called “Men of God”.
Who are those men, and why should anybody listen to them?
What gives them the authority to say what they so loudly proclaim?
What do they know that any educated person doesn’t know?
Why should anybody believe their often skewed interpretation of ancient, highly partisan documents?
Life should not be regulated by fanatical religious autocrats but by common sense.
Religious wars are just thinly disguised excuses for grabbing power and appropriating what belongs to somebody else. God has nothing to do with it.
Many people are atheists and live happily, unburdened by taboos and fears of all kinds.
To have different beliefs is not a sin punishable by death.
Live and let live!