The Fandoms of Religion
What has started every war in history? Resources…and religion (+ Helen of Troy, but never mind that). Religion is a hundred different things. It is the source of hope for many people, it is a structure around which people like to build their lives, it is a scapegoat, it is a motivation, it is reassurance for death, and it is an ideology that people either cower behind or shove down your throat. I respect religion, of course I do. You have the complete liberty to believe whatever you want to believe, whether that be the God or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. What I do care about, however, is if you march up to people and try to force your belief system on them.
This has been happening for centuries, namely, this people doped missionaries who travel about the globe trying to convert the people they encounter to their faith. This is one thing for me that begins to raise red flags. While it is fine to practice your religion, and also fine to hold a sort of informational session about what you believe in, it is NOT okay to refute another’s beliefs and inject your own. I am constantly at a loss as to why people think that this is okay, why mission trips are respected and treated like exchange, and why we still get boys in suits knocking on our doors. You have the liberty to believe whatever you want to believe, but no amount of pain, agony, or your chatter will make me want to take up yours.
I think I have made it quite clear that I don’t mind when others practice their religions. Now, I personally am atheist. I don’t believe in any god, I think we all disappear after death, and everything that happens in life is a product of a series of decisions that each individual has made. Soulmates, I do believe exist, but that is for another article. No matter how many people offer me a bible in the streets, I will not believe its stories. I think it’s fine if you do, but I don’t. I think of religion as a set of fandoms. Everyone believes that their book is the best, get tattoos and wear necklaces to promote their heros, and have wars about it online (and very much in person). Each has a symbol, much like the Deathly Hallows or Mockingjay Pin. Which do you choose, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, or Lord of the Rings? Islam or Paganism? Star Wars or Star Trek? Judaism or Catholicism?