You're the Reason I'm not Religious

Posted on Thursday, March 24, 2011 by Alex R. Cronk-Young

Back when that giant earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit Japan, stupid people came out of the woodwork. An alarmingly large amount of them decided they were clever to relate the earthquake as some sort of karmic retribution for Pearl Harbor (as if those bombs weren't enough). I took one of these people to task on Facebook, as he had most uncleverly left his account completely open to any stranger that happened by.

Here was his argument: On the 70th day of 2011, an 8.9 earthquake hit Japan. The Bible has 1189 chapters and 66 books; this earthquake happened 1189 days after the 66th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

It's always been funny to me the ways in which religious people decide to try to convert non-believers, but this one really blew my mind. See, I'm not a staunch atheist. If anything I'd classify myself as agnostic, in that I'm not entirely sure what I believe. The only thing I know for sure is that I will never be a part of an organized religion, and these sorts of situations cement that fact for me daily.

Every time I drive past a group of Baptists screaming at people on a street corner, I wonder why they've decided that acting like crazy homeless people will be a good way to recruit people to their belief system. This is the exact same to me. Why on Earth would you want people to believe that God planned this earthquake as some sort of retribution to the people of Japan? That is not the kind of god I would want to believe in.

Years ago, back when I was struggling even more to find what exactly I chose to have faith in, my sister (someone who has clung to religion for awhile now to help her regain control of her life) brought over her friend to talk this out with me. It wasn't said so upfront, but more or less sprung upon me in the guise of her needing to "interview" someone. I quickly deduced that this "someone" was a person she hoped to convert. I didn't tell her to leave me alone, I just embraced the conversation and started asking questions.

I asked her what would happen to Buddhists, or Hindus. Would they go to hell just because they didn't practice Christianity? "Yes," she said, "because they haven't accepted Jesus." That struck me as a tad ridiculous so I reasoned that they were good people who have likely led honest and respectful lives. If they haven't committed egregious sins, did they still go to hell simply because they didn't believe in Jesus?

"Look," she began. "Ultimately it doesn't matter what kind of life they led, as long as they accept Jesus then their sins will be forgiven and they'll be allowed into Heaven."

So Hitler could have gone to Heaven? More or less the answer was yes. That was my out, and my overall answer to whether or not I should be religious. I told her that if there's a God, I choose to believe that he will judge our lives based on what we did and what type of person we were. If we were good people, then we can get into Heaven no matter what religion we were. I told her it didn't make sense for a god to condemn a group of people from an entirely different country just because they hadn't ever been confronted with "the right religion." I told her if that's how God chose to run things then God didn't make any sense to me and I didn't really want to believe in that type of God.

Christians, Baptists, Catholics, Whatevers: If you are trying to convert people, you're failing. That guy on Facebook tried to convert me numerous times during the course of our argument, despite the fact that he was trying to sell me on a God that would devastate a country just because of a grudge. If you say things like that, or if you believe that good people will end up in Hell just because of their specific religion, or if you yell at me from the street corner, then I'm not going to buy what you're selling. YOU'RE the reason I'm not religious. Stop it. Now!

2 Response to "You're the Reason I'm not Religious"

Cameron Says....

You're pretty close to the reason I'm not a believer. For me, what's called the argument from evil is the clincher. If there really were an omnipotent and perfectly good God, there would be no excuse for all the suffering in the world. People try to smooth that over by saying we learn from suffering, but that's some first-world bullshit. A kid who is born into poverty, suffers immensely for a few years then dies of hunger hasn't learned anything except what it's like to be miserable.

If that scenario has played out even once, then God's not perfectly good, and not the kind of being worthy of worship or even respect.

Anonymous Says....

Your reason is practically the same as mine. Fuck, I hate dealing with these kind of people everyday. My moronic family uses God for everything and thinks Christians are the only good people in the world. Makes me sick.

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