I went to a funeral today. It was the first one since my deconversion (and, to my memory the second one period). It’s inspired two topics I want to discuss that I will make into two different posts. One on how religion taints the human experience and one on my thoughts about the person who died and what I think a funeral should really talk about.
First the taint of religion.
I noticed something about stained glass windows today. The church I was in had nothing but them. They weren’t fancy, just panes in the primary colors of the rainbow. Several picture windows were yellow and I thought of the phrase “a jaundiced eye”
It is a given that religion Others everyone who is not of their faith. Humans naturally do this. We evolved to trust our neighbors but demonize everyone over the next hill. This is a problem we can overcome; we can override our evolution, but religion actively hinders our desire to do this. Religion depends on our Othering.
It prevents us from being our full potential.
I think humans are both the best and worst animal on this planet. Our ways of dealing with life have consequences few want to understand—though we are able to. I would wager that no other organism on this planet has changed the environment on the scale humans are capable, since the evolution of bacteria that make oxygen as a waste product.
I used to be very conservative as well as Christian. The two are not necessarily related, but more often than not, they go together. In a lot of ways what I am saying about religion can be applied to conservative politics. Global warming can’t exist because God wouldn’t let the world burn. Or, it is happening and God is punishing us. Sometimes it’s both! And this kind of doublethink is possible through the jaundiced eye of religion. Christians will pray for your salvation while judging you to Hell.
Many –too many!— subjects apply here but the end result is the same: religious people are Right and everyone else is Wrong. This is no way to evolve a species. It is almost (and others have said this) as if religion is a virus that affects us by making us happy being stupid. The only cure is education and religion knows this and tries to keep you from it. You shouldn’t look at anything that lays outside the authority of religion. Your yellow eyes have to see everything else as evil and corrupt.
Religion might know that education is its enemy but it is not unstoppable. Because others (Others?) have come out of their stupor, you can too! It is a struggle. For a lot of us we have to overcome years of childhood indoctrination and conditioning. I have identified as a secular humanist for the past two years after a three year journey.
I didn’t break the stained glass windows of my Christianity, I replaced them pane by pane.