Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Believe what you want, but leave me out of it

Forward: This is post 1 of 2 that I said I had in mind for writing during my Christmas break. I waited to write this to avoid putting myself into the type of situation I am telling people to leave me out of. This isn't directed at any one person, it is directed at everyone that tries to cram beliefs down my throat.

I don't care if you give praise to God, Allah, Buddha, Vishnu, Ra, or Mickey Mouse. As long as your beliefs don't affect me, I don't care (I'll get into this later). You could believe that your toaster commands you to hop around on one foot everyday for all I care, just don't lose your balance and fall into me. I do care when you come knocking on my door telling me I am a horrible person for not believing in X and that I will burn in hell if I don't immediately repent and follow YOUR way of thinking.

You are welcome to write blog posts, status updates, tweets, newsletters, or billboards about your beliefs. I might not read them, much like many people will choose not to read this. The fact that people won't choose to read this means I will have to tell them next time they try to preach to me that I don't want to hear it, so I would prefer they read this now, but it is their right not to read this. What crosses the line, at least for me, is sending me articles about how important it is for me to have X in my life. Saying that I must go to church. Telling me that I must believe in X or I am a horrible human being.

Personally, I am somewhere between agnostic and atheist, but before people jump down my throat about being the devil spawn: 1 - see above and 2 - how am I affecting you? I am not one of those people who feels like I need to waste the time of the Supreme Court debating whether "under God" should be in the Pledge of Allegiance. Do I think it belongs there? No. Nor does "In God We Trust" belong on our money. Those words being there doesn't affect me enough for me to care. So how do my beliefs about that affect you?

I keep saying "it doesn't affect me I don't care," but what do I consider affecting me? Well, here is a rough idea. If your beliefs say that you should kill me because I don't believe in your beliefs, that is something that affects me and then I will want to hit you over the head with a stick to either knock some sense into you, or give you amnesia so you forget that part. If your beliefs say alcohol is forbidden and you try to pass a law outlawing it, that affects me. If you decide to forever avoid me because I have a drink, that is fine with me, because obviously your beliefs are very important to you and odds are you would start preaching at some point. (That last point isn't directed at anyone running for election, or anyone I know...unless one of them starts acting that way). If you think alcohol is forbidden, but think that is your personally belief and choose to exercise that restriction on yourself and not get preachy if I have a drink, then we will probably get along.

I am tolerant of some religious influence on the policy of our country because I know it is impossible to separate people's religion from their personal views, but most of those influences are things make us civilized, that were put into religions early on to drive civilization in it's current direction. But when things start going all "the bible says" in the process of writing a law, then I get annoyed.

I wrote this while I was awake in the VERY early morning hours after not much sleep, but I think it captures most of my thoughts. With that, I will just hit "Publish post" and be on my way. I have TWO more posts planned now (the original other post I had, and a post about PR due to an on-going PR nightmare for a game accessory manufacturer) but I will get to those when the mood strikes me.


Tad Callin said...

This seems to be coming up a lot:

Must be a trend? :)

Mike said...

Your recent tweets/blogposts helped push me over the edge and actually post this. Plus the whole religious push everywhere around Christmas.

Unknown said...

you forgot the flying spaghetti monster in your list. I'm highly offended.