Religious tolerance 

Being a good Canadian woman, I have tried to live my life without outward judgment of those who believe in things that I find ridiculous. I have allowed these people to try to shove their beliefs down my throat without so much as a peep of disagreement. Until about 10 years ago, I would never have even mentioned my atheist ways in person, to anyone but family or like minded individuals  . I’d sit in silence and try to tune out all of the religious nonsense being bandied about, while inwardly chanting , you must be tolerant, or, live and let live.  I never allowed these folks the opportunity to show me the same tolerance, thinking I was taking the high road.  Then, out of the blue, something in me changed and I decided to be open about my atheism. Open, not in your face, but when faced with people who had to talk about their religion, I’d mention that I am an atheist. That’s how it started.  It soon became clear that I was alone in my tolerance more often than not. The reactions to my different opinion ran the gambit from wanting to save me, to seeing it as a personal attack, , to attacking me for some perceived evil.  Why should I have to tolerate your beliefs, if you don’t tolerate mine?  All I was saying is that I didn’t beleive what they believe, why is that so offensive? 

It’s reactions like this that have made me so much more vocal about my views. To the point where I now take some pleasure winding them up and watching them go. Don’t get me wrong,  I’m not calling them stupid or anything personal,  just questioning their religion(s) and inwardly (never to their faces ) laughing my ass off as they try to justify things like incest, genocide or rape. I will openly question people who try to save my soul with, why does it matter to you?  I have yet to get a response to  that one that isn’t entirely narcissistic. I’ve been accused of hating god, to which I reply with,  it’s not possible to hate something you don’t believe exists.  Besides, I only hate the fact that the world still legislates in favour of religion. I’ve long said, I don’t care what you believe, just don’t try to make me believe it too. I am now sick of having to listen to why your religion makes you “a better person ” when your behavior towards me clearly states otherwise. I am sick and tired of the guilt tripping and the questioning of my morality, especially when I know all of the crap you’ve been “forgiven “. Let’s be honest about who forgave you, shall we?  You forgave yourself so you can look yourself in the mirror without seeing the person who did those things.  By believing that God forgives you, you justify your actions, but take no responsibility for them. If God forgives you, you don’t have to make amends to the people you’ve done wrong. 

I’ve asked, but what if you’re wrong about religion?  That question always gets rebuked immediately. They won’t allow themselves to even consider the possibility.  

Although I find the idea of having to live beyond this life abhorrant, if I am wrong, and I end up where the godly constantly wish me to be, burning in hell for all eternity, at least I’ll be in the company of people I can actually tolerate if only because they don’t lie about their human nature. 

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