Thursday, November 18, 2010
Rejection based in ignorant bliss.
I chose to be an atheist; this is not a choice that I made lightly. It is not a point in any Christian’s life and belief that you reach and consciously make a decision around that you can allow anyone outside your own reasoning and conscious mind to influence. Religion and the choice to believe or not is an intrinsically personal matter. It is a point of personal belief. No amount of pretense or trying to force your conscious into a direction which you know deep within is not true will get you to believe something that your mind and your instinct tells you is not true.
If I then pretend to believe in a God, and that God is almighty and all seeing, I will surely be smitten. According to the Christian Bible he has smitten for less!
Unfortunately for me I am surrounded by Christians. People, whom feel that they have to believe. That is their choice. They are not only entitled to it, but I would not consider them as anyone with backbone if they did not say what they believe in and that they do believe. Fortunately for me some of these Christians are very dear to me and I love all of them. I may not agree with their beliefs but I love and respect them for the person they are, not the religion they believe in.
It is in my opinion something that indicates something of a person’s character when he not only declares a belief but has the conviction to stand up for it.
However it is around this point of discussion where I have come to realize the absurdity of how some religious people choose to interpret someone else’s right to also not only say what their beliefs are, but stand up for it and advertise or wear it on their collar.
When my Christian family stand to pray and ask what they consider to be their creator to bless the food before a meal. I take their hands and stand with them through their prayer. I try and make a conscious effort to respect their tradition and their belief.
When I go to their homes I do not criticize the crosses that they display, or the little rocks with the name “Jesus” written over it. When they say that their prayers have been answered I do not make funny noises or laugh. Or get angry and irritated. That is truly what they believe and I have no right to either criticize it directly in their face or to punish them by way of confrontation for what they believe.
I can not and will not reject people’s feelings as human beings for their beliefs. I can only attest to who and what a person is through his actions. If I have to point a finger at Christianity every time a Christian does something that I consider being rude, pompous, arrogant, or just plain malicious. I will have a very tired arm.
And this whole thought process that I have put into my own belief system is exactly why I have opened myself up for hurt, rejection and a feeling of being actively victimized.
When someone either does not like another person or has a specific problem with someone else. For which the reason might range from a basic character flaw to a choice not to believe in a God. They have one of two choices in their dislike and how to handle it. They can accept that person with that flaw as a part of a package, or alternatively they can reject that person as a whole. Sadly the acceptance path is the more difficult one, tolerance and acceptance for another human being seems to be the route that is more dificult to take.
To then expect of a person to go even further and not to attribute the flaw of character to a religious conviction or lack thereof seems almost impossible.
In my personal experience I have seen this. I have seen that people are able to actively prey on a flaw in another, not only by seeing it and concentrating on that flaw. But to also sit back and to wait for it to develop and grow and to then eventually latch on to it and ride the crest of the wave on the back of that flaw and stand pointing fingers saying: “See he is an atheist, and this is the things that atheists do.”
I have also seen that most theists also do not understand the technical terms around religion. The perception that the word atheist says that you do not believe murder is wrong and punishable. They do not know the origin of their own religion. They do not know the facts surrounding the religious holidays they celebrate. But at the same time they can pass judgment and reject someone purely based on a simple belief that atheists are murderers, rapists, and ultimately Satanists. That atheist’s has no moral backbone, and are intrinsically bad people with no conscience. Assumption on its own is a very dangerous thing. Assumption based in ignorance and a lack of knowledge is even worse.
I am a very lucky man. I have a wife that I love and whom loves me. I have a secret society with friends that are my friends not because I have some money tonight that they can spend with me at a bar or a strip club. But real life true friends. People whom care for me, and my family’s well being. People that I can rely on when I need someone to just listen. I am lucky because this secret society has given me a twelve step program as well as guidance to work through it. Without rejecting me, my points of view or latching on to my weak points. A secret society where I learnt to be a responsible human being whom has to take responsibility for my actions now. Not later when I am not around to make any difference any more in a person’s current situation or positively influence another life. A society where I have learnt that it is as important to give these things back as it is to accept them.
And for this reason I will consciously accept the things I cannot change, I will take the responsibility of changing the things I can.
If that means that I have to accept other peoples rejection of me based in ignorant bliss, then that is what I will do. If that means that I have to work harder at myself to rise above the points that they can find fault with, then that is what I will have to do.