Lest We Forget

So this was my Sunday thought a couple of weeks ago, and I had a little chuckle over it. I like humour and appreciate a giggle.

I appreciated the suggested, albeit sarcastic, tolerance (a bit) though I don’t particularly share it.

I appreciated the suggestion that we are moving into a time where more and more people are willing to bump up against religion and question it, or even better, reject it.

So anyway, I liked it and I posted it.

Since then it has been rattling around in the back of my brain, poking at me. You know the feeling you get when you have a partially completed thought …  yeah, that is how this was.

Then my lovely daughter posted this article, Russia Extends Jailing of Punk Band Activists and the dissonance lifted, and the cards fell into place.

What’s the problem in Russia? Well apparently three feminist punk rock singers  from a band called  Pussy Riot— were arrested in March 2012 after staging a political protest against Vladimir Putin. In a nut shell, they are being accused of aiming to destroy 1000′s of years of orthodox church tradition. No, not threatening – are destroying it. My first thought was that the orthodox church tradition must not be very stable or secure if they need to jail three women for singing a song. But again, the brain kept chugging even after I had put the article aside.

How do these two things line up, you might ask?

The battle has not been won. Not even fucking close. As long as we are reading the news and hearing about people being oppressed, marginalized, persecuted, punished,  tortured or murdered in the name of religion – this is a war very much UN-won. This story is not even a little bit uncommon or rare and it’s not a Russia problem. It’s not a Russian Orthodox Church problem. It’s an all over the world, every religion problem.

Tolerance misses the boat for me. As far as I am concerned, people can believe whatever they want to believe, and I will fight for their right to believe it. I will not however, accept that things people personally believe should ever be used to, as I said above, oppress, marginalize, persecute, punish, torture or even murder other people. At that point, all bets are off, and so is my tolerance.

If we starting getting smug that atheism is gaining ground, is more visible, is more accepted and that somehow we can sit back and think religion is being placed on a back burner, where it can no longer harm people, we are part of the problem. So, no … not good for you, you’re a helicopter. No .. we’re not having fun reading or hearing about people and their imaginary, delusional and frankly dangerous beliefs which so greatly harm so many, many people.

Lest we forget.

2 responses to “Lest We Forget

  1. There has been a hands off religion for so long. I could care less about what one believes. It is when a religious view is forced (and it is happening all over the world) on others that I get more than a little bit angry.

    I don’t expect anyone to think the way I do. I won’t try to change your mind. But religion does not deserve a special place. The conversation about it should be as easy as ….I think carrots are a good vegetable while you think beets are the best vegetable. End of conversation.

    But if you insist, you better be ready to have a reasonable and evidenced based discussion about it.

    (I shouldn’t make comments so early in the morning. LOL ) Liking your ideas! :)

    • I generally won’t get into discussions with people about their personal beliefs either, I think the conversations are tedious at best, provocatively stupid at worse. I do make a concerted effort however, to be explicit in my views about how religion/spirituality (however you want to dress it up and name it) contributes to a non critical thinking, overly accepting tolerance for the atrocities committed in its name. I’m not at all tolerant of these things.

      I hope what I talk about and post does challenge people to think about what they believe and accept. I hope that it leads them to question, very seriously the things they believe, especially when their beliefs are used to control other people. Ultimately, I hope people will move away from needing religion and put their energy toward better things.

      All that said, I know intolerance. I know what it feels like to be told what you believe in is crap and I know it didn’t move me in the least when I was there myself :)

      It’s a personal journey, and it should be and I don’t want to interfere with that. I do want to interfere with the larger results of collective beliefs, that are no longer personal, and are imposed negatively on others.

      lol I think you might like my ideas because yours are a lot the same ;)

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