Religon is reality, apparently


Religon is not defined as Christianity

By James Meaney, Staff Writer

The other day at Chaminade’s open mic event hosted by the Communications Club, I was intrigued to listen to a Chaminade student preach his faith in Christianity. Although I’m atheist, I was at first encouraged by his positive demeanor and admired his courageous bravery of which he attributed to God. However, I was quickly taken back by his aggressive and forceful tone, where he indirectly told me, “Religion is reality. If you do not accept that religion is reality you will go to hell.”

As I pushed my hanging jaw back into place, I pondered the reasoning behind what I’d just heard. Firstly, I was confused as to how he had defined religion, in its entirety, strictly as Christianity, as he was speaking from a Christian context. Secondly, I felt aggravated by this young man telling me that I must believe what he believes otherwise I will end up in the fiery pits of hell. I’ve done the risk assessment, and I’m feeling pretty good about my chances. He frightened the idea of religion out of my mind; he made it seemed strict and exclusive, not open and forgiving like I’d been previously taught.

It baffled me as to how a clearly highly educated young student had such a determined outlook into what others should believe. How could he expect himself to convert and scare people into accepting God? “God” forbid I went up to the mic and started quoting the Quran or worse still preached about a flying spaghetti monster while sporting my favorite sieve on my head.

Religion, reality or not, should not be shoved into the faces of anyone, just as atheism, Islam or any religion shouldn’t be. Think of the wars, the innocent lives that could have been avoided if religious beliefs were kept to themselves. Atheists are busy getting on with their own lives, living life for themselves, through themselves, and because of themselves. Some radical believers feel the need to share their beliefs and impose that belief onto others with so much passive aggression that it seems almost, but not quite, holy.

While science, logic, reasoning and likelihood lay firmly on my side of the argument, I still would never dream about denying someone of their beliefs, no matter how hurtful, outdated or inhumane they are. If Christians want to preach homosexuality as sin, who am I to tell them that they’re wrong? If Muslims believe multiple wives are OK, who am I to tell them polygamy is an outdated theory? Therefore, who is he to threaten me hell?

Fact is, it doesn’t matter what I believe, it doesn’t matter what you believe, it doesn’t matter who believes what. The things that matter to humanity are often caused by religions’ inability to compromise. There’s homosexuals committing suicide and there’s radical extremists exploding their beliefs onto thousands of innocents. Who care’s who believes what? I want to believe as humans, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists or Pastafarians (the church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster) that we can put faith in saving our Earth, protecting our families and stopping murders in the name of “God.”

If you find yourself desperately trying to convert people who have already made up their minds, and by college most have, don’t be surprised when they reject the idea of going to hell just because they will not accept religion is reality. Something tells me they might not take your claim too seriously, they might just be more concerned about life on Earth rather than what happens after it.