3/22/2014 | Share this article: View CommentsBy E Singletary ~
I am a Man who has taken it upon himself to think, think critically about what is presented to me as fact and fiction. In particular religion. From an early childhood I was indoctrinated into the baptist church, I was scared into being "saved" by a hell fire preacher at the impressionable age of 6. I was told to believe everything that the people of the church told me yet was never offered one bit of proof. The world was hidden from me, I was never taught to think critically or even allowed to question what I was taught. Right along with reading and math I was taught the bible as total fact and not to question it. Good people taught me this but better people would have exposed me to it and let me formulate my own choices and opinions as an adult instead of indoctrinating me as a child.
As I grew up I challenged what I was taught, but only to myself because the people around all passed judgement on each other based on the person's religious fever not on the actions of the person. "He is a good christian man." and I wanted to be seen as a good man so I followed the line, all the while questioning my motives because of my core beliefs that the bible and the stories in it are questionable, horrid and at times ridiculous.
A little over three years ago I decided to study for myself where the bible came from, how it was compiled and who the authors were, and if anyone really knows. I discovered that the history of the bible is not as presented to me as a child. Popes and kings decided the stories that went into the bible, there are no first hand accounting by the authors, some books of the New Testament where written many hundreds of years after the stories where supposed to take place.
Many key players in the bible have no historical mention of them outside of the bible, even though the empires they represented in the bible were meticulous in recording their political history.
Then I read the bible, I saw that the churches, all of them just picked and chose what rhetoric they want to expound. The reason was the bible is full of things that are not acceptable. A woman is but a slave to her husband in one area but held high in another. A leader in the Old Testament is told to prove his love of god by killing his son as a human sacrifice. Daughters trick their drunk father into getting them pregnant. God instructs the Jews to commit genocide down to the animals and innocent children in the land that is now Israel.
God himself, tells the people not to kill but on many occasions tells them to commit genocide over land and even supposedly kills the first born sons of the non Jewish families in Egypt, of which there is no record in Egyptian history.
There is no proof of god, there never will be because you can't prove something that is not there.If there is a god, why did he not stop Hitler, or the 9/11 attacks? If he did it to punish the Jews or Americans then he is malevolent, not loving. If this god loves us, why does the bible threaten us with a nonexistent hell if we don't love him back? Who is there to love? I have prayed as I was taught and found the only thing there were my own thoughts. People talk of god working in mysterious ways, I see no works at all done by god. Men do the work. Men stomped out the Nazis. Men searched out those who are guilty of the 9/11 attacks. A loving god would have kept those things from ever happening. Why pray out loud? Can't god read your thoughts? Verbal prayer is done solely for the person who is praying and those who will listen. Why pray for specifics, why not pray for big ticket items, world peace, the cure for cancer or no more war? Why not, because it does not work. Wars will still happen (most rooted in religion), cancer will still affect lives, the world won't have peace, ever. Man is selfish, all animals are, it is survival instinct, this will always lead to conflict.
The reason why I doubt; because religion is a manifestation of man, invented to answer questions that at the time could not be answered and even more so to control the people and mold their behaviors and thoughts. There is no proof of god, there never will be because you can't prove something that is not there. There is a dragon in the garage. Referring to Carl Sagan.
I believe in loving each other, being kind, giving a hand up, being empathetic and upholding just behaviors. I worship nothing, my only temple is my body and try to treat myself with with the respect I am due. I strive to respect everything and everyone.
I don't pass judgment unless my nation calls me to do that in the courts, then I do it based on evidence not faith. Passing judgement or ridiculing those who believe differently or think critically is wrong at the deepest level.
To paraphrase Carl Sagan, incredible claims require incredible evidence. Don't teach faith, teach the pursuit of truth and an awe for nature. My children will be presented the opportunity to think for themselves and think freely and critically. I will not tell them what to think or decide but will tell them be skeptical of everything.
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