I write stuff for public consumption, much of which is my opinion—but NOT by any means is ALL of it my opinion. Regardless, people who read it are always free to agree or disagree. As well, we who write this stuff must also have strong stomachs for nonstop criticism, as well as the empathy to understand, that viewed in their proper perspectives, other points of view may be just as valid as ours are.
No one has ever accused me of caving under the pressure of baseless criticism. I wrote my first published article in 1957. Within ONE week of publication, I received ten anonymous notes plus six home phone calls all of which described the tenuous nature of my living past the end of the month. Did I run for the tall grass? NO! In fact, I didn’t even report the stuff to my high school homeroom teacher.
Over the past 53-years, nothing has changed. My stomach was cast in iron; and controversy continues to attract me the way that fecal matter attracts flies. I love it, the controversy… not the fecal matter; although I don’t mind stirring it a bit, the fecal matter… not the controversy. However, I’ve never been one to extend a whole lot of empathy to clueless jackasses; and I’m not going to start doing it now, Easter or NOT.
I posted this statement in a public forum: “People who use mathematics as proof for their respective religious beliefs, be they professed atheists or profound believers in God, are unadulterated jackasses.” And, there are NO exceptions. But, I apply this particularly to highly educated accredited science PhDs, no matter which side of the issue they support.
I’m not going to post any of it here, but the volume of criticism—some of it outright hate email—I’ve received is astounding. And, as far as I’m able to tell, 99% of the criticism has been from BELIEVERS who took issue with me disrespecting their religion. But, for the life of me, I can’t figure out how my statement constitutes disrespect for anyone’s religion.
Regardless, I will not retract my statement. And, in the interest of clarity, let me set the record straight relative to disrespecting religions, whether their believers profess Christianity (Catholic or any other denomination), Judaism, Islam, or the use of rattle-shaking and magic powder to ward off “evil spirits.”
If the only way people can accept an assertion is by faith, then they are conceding that it can’t be taken on its own merits. And, please NOTE that this doesn’t mean that it’s not true, it simply means that it’s outside the realm of rationalism. And it merits neither defense nor criticism unless, of course, it advocates denying others of their human rights, injuring them, or killing them for NOT believing.
Throughout my 70-years of life, I’ve listened to hundreds of nationally acclaimed religious leaders, but with the exception of three of them (Rabbi Harold Kushner, Reverend Billy Graham, and Reverend Robert H. Schuller—I respect all of them for their non-exclusion stances), most of the others came off like self-appointed phony experts on the nature of God.
No matter what they said, it always seemed like people were to believe without evidence, what those without knowledge told them about things without parallel. And, failing to believe as such, special places in hell would be awaiting their arrival. I think that’s pure fertilizer; and I don’t respect any religion that attempts to foist it on humanity.
Humanity—in its entirety—is in dire straits, NOT because people collectively ignore the possibility that God did it ALL, but because they continue to insist on defining SCRIPTURES as the sacred books of “THEIR” holy religion, as opposed to those FALSE and PROFANE writings upon which ALL other faiths are based.
In terms of religion, people have a right to believe whatever they wish to believe. But, if it’s based on pure faith, it’s not FACT! It is certainly POSSIBLE that God created all that is. But, it’s also possible that it’s all wishful thinking.
And, no matter how willing martyrs are to sacrifice their lives for WHAT they believe, their respective sacrifices are NOT testaments to the veracity of their “beliefs,” but only to the strength of those beliefs.
I have never been one to worry about what people think of me. I’m not going to start now. We live in a big world that is growing exponentially in issue complexity. The diversity of ideologies is too vast for any one country to control. As such, humanity’s survival does not depend on finding other ideologies that are compatible with ours or forcing ours down the world’s throat.
Barring a natural disaster wiping out the human race, if we are going to survive and flourish as a species, we must learn to deal with our incompatibilities.
It’s both righteous and honorable for us to be willing to die in the preservation of our way of life. However, I’m not about to die because the jackasses of the world want to have a religious hissy fit over whose is, quite possibly, the best imaginary friend.
But, as in all things, mileages are going to vary over this. So, live and enjoy your faith on this, the most solemn of all Christian Holy Days. But PLEASE stifle the sanctimony, BOTH overt and covert, for those who believe differently.
Joseph Walther is a freelance writer and publisher of The True Facts. Send your comments. Just click here.