Do any fellow atheists find that as society focuses on the equality and respect of all religions, we sacrifice time that could be spent questioning theism? In the aftermath of a terror attack- or anything that tarnishes the reputation of a religion- we hear a lot of preaching from the many sides of belief. This usually goes along the lines of ‘most religious people, of all beliefs, aren’t immoral and that the religion should not be condemned because of the actions of few.’
An image similar to the one below will look familiar to most readers.
Christians have protected Muslims mid prayer by forming circles around worshipers, Muslims have done the same for Christians when there is a risk of an attack. Does this kind and brave act deserve recognition? Of course it does. But this doesn’t mean the shenanigans within the circle should remain unquestioned. As progressive and good willed as it seems, I cannot help to wish they could see what those of us with a more secular view see. It seems like a bunch of people standing up for each other and their irrational rituals and illogical beliefs, without taking a second to think about what they are doing in an honest and critical fashion.
Instead of insisting that the beliefs of others deserve respect, let’s spend a little more time analysing their reasoning. It is then that you may realise that the belief wasn’t worth the time of day. It is a waste of time to stand up for the belief of someone from a seperate faith, although it’s much better than war for sure. But that time could be spent in much more educational ways. With the sensitivity around criticising religion it will no doubt be looked down upon, but this is in no way threatening to the point that a protection circle is needed. I would instead lean modestly over the locked fingers of the chain to tell the protected ‘get up from the floor, you look rather silly!’.
Everything is lost in time. The efforts of past humans to help humanity get along, whether it’s Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland or similar movements in the distant past, are respected whilst the ideas that they were trying preserving usually aren’t.
Isn’t it strange how we look back in time and laugh at the behaviour of humans, oblivious to see that is our very own fate? In a hundred years time we will appreciate the support shown in the images but the rituals will seem very outdated.
Forget the violence but welcome a little questioning. It may bring positive change and new, clearer perspectives to a theist, more than prayer ever could.
Featured image: Nevine Zaki