I have stopped pointing at the silliness of religious belief for a while now, taking it for granted that people with minds on their heads would have realized that fact without my aid (while realizing those who don't will probably take more than my arguing). The last few weeks have supplied enough ammunition for me to want to say something, so I will change my ways and go forth to mock religion over three different observations.
The first observation is to do with Mary Mackillop being ordained as Australia's first Catholic Saint, some hundred years after her death and in a manner that makes lots of people anticipate making lots of money out of this affair (through tourism etc). Now, it's clear Mackillop has done a lot for society and is worth remembering for her achievements; but Catholic sainthood is something I would consider punishment rather than a prize.
Consider this: Mackillop was recognized a saint on the basis of performing a couple of miracles. The second miracle involved the recovery from incurable cancer by a woman who prayed for Mackillop's help. Ignoring the obvious likelihood the recovery had nothing to do with any prayers, let me ask you this: Why is Mackillop so evil?
Yes, evil. As in: why doesn't she do anything about the other millions dying of cancer? Why does she only intervene in one or two cases? That's no saint; that's a devil by my book.
My point is simple: I respect Mackillop for her achievements; I will not respect the silly religion that ordained her, because if closing your ear to millions while listening to the suffering of one is one of god's virtues, I do not want anything to do with such a god.
On we go to the next case. Last week, Triple J's Hack program dedicated itself to discussions concerning virginity. A silly topic, I agree, but the program is aimed at teens and virginity does seem to attract attention at that age group.
One of the interviews they held was with a Catholic woman, who urged listeners to keep their virginity till they're married. The speaker herself was no virgin; she went through a rather promiscuous period for a few years before opening her mind to religion. Or rather, closing her mind because of religion. And what a fine example she is!
One of the things I won't forgive Christianity for is the way it criminalizes sex. Luckily, with most Christians this comes in through one ear and goes out the other, but we all feel it wherever we go; in Western society, sex is much more a taboo than it should be. And we're all miserable for it, because sex is perfectly natural and I see no reason to treat it as evil; instead of making you a devil for having sex, the powers that be should focus on educating you to practice safe sex.
No, I cannot respect the religion that makes those who have sex outside of marriage criminals. Nor do most members of society, at least if you look at what really happens out there; it's just that we should stop pretending.
Last, but not least, was a Muslim representative to that very same Hack program.
The guy was explaining what Islam is promising the faithful believer: According to Islam, those that reach the lowest circle of heaven will receive 72 virgins of the opposite sex to do with as they will. The guy was quite proud of this, flaunting it as if he's getting a reward the rest of us won't.
Question is, would any decent human being want such a reward? Those 72 victims are, for all intents and purposes, human beings (otherwise it wouldn't feel right). 72 human being that, effectively, become the slaves of that Muslim that reached heaven. Would any sane person take slaves on this day and age? Yet Muslims seem to aspire to do so after their death.
Yes, we have ourselves another case of religion twisting all sense of rational thought. And in this particular case, all sense of humanism, too. No, I cannot respect such beliefs; I will actively mock them. And so should any sane person.