Growing out of religion

Growing out of religion

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Belief in a higher power isn’t dangerous; it can often be a wonderful thing. There exist in this world kind and well-intentioned people of faith, and they carry in their hearts a great love for their fellow human beings. They are beautiful and happy people, content in their faith and the world around them; these aren’t dangerous folks.
Religious institutions, however, are little more than vile and hateful groups whose goals couldn’t be further from their respective deity’s teachings.
For some people, religion doesn’t really play much of a role in their life.
It’s a check box they tick off, “Yeah sure, I’m ‘Religion-X’, whatever.” To many, it’s a chance to get together with others in their neighborhood or community, have a barbeque, and socialize.
What’s wrong with that?
So why pick on religion? Isn’t it a benign entity at least and a minor annoyance at best?
It isn’t that simple.
Many of the horrors of the past and present can be placed solely at the feet of religion: the Crusades, the Inquisition, 9/11, arranged marriages to minors, blowing up schools, the suppression of women and homosexuals, fatwa, ethnic cleansing, honor rape, human sacrifice, burning witches, suicide bombings, condoning slavery, and the methodical raping of children.
Unimaginably immaculate mega-churches are built to satisfy the piggishness and pride of parishioners and priests alike, while the poor and powerless starve to death  under the gaze of an obviously uncaring Creator.
Will faith keep dry those who deny the reality of global climate change when the sea levels rise, and drown entire coastal cities? Will faith save the many innocent Palestinian and Israeli citizens stuck in the middle of an old man’s war over which group was promised a piece of inhospitable land by their Almighty?
The human experience has been a journey of expansion spanning millions of years. We always want more.
We’re a bit selfish that way. We’re so greedy that we once looked into the yawning void of the sky, at the billions of mysterious tiny points of light that winked at us in the dark, and said, “I want to go there.” And we did.
Religion offers such a lazy view of the majesty that is existence. Sure, it teaches piety and philanthropy, and then in its next breath preaches the inadequacy and base filth of humanity.
We’ve always sought immortality, be it through our artistic works, our faith, or our medical discoveries.
Faith is one possible solution to the fleeting mystery of eternity, but it’s ultimately outlived its usefulness.
When our species was young, religion was a soothing salve of the soul for those terrified at the possibility of an eternity of non-existence.
Now we’ve grown up; we’re older and wiser, and if we’re to move forward into the unknown, we need to leave religion behind.
We are the universe experiencing itself subjectively.Let’s not cloud the view.

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