The other week us parents were having a chat with our son. Don't ask me how we got to discuss it, but through this and that we ended up telling him of the biblical story on Adam, Eve, the talking snake, and that apple of theirs. We also told him of the story's implications: that through the woman eating the forbidden fruit came pain and suffering to the whole of humanity. That through the sin being committed by a woman came millennia of mistreatment to women with discrimination that still continues in force.
His reaction was to laugh and mock the story. As in, "what, all the bad things in the world happen because a woman ate a fruit?"
Clearly, that should be the reaction of any rational person hearing of Adam and Eve's story. Alas, our society is not made of rational people; the vast majority of us have received religious indoctrination during their childhood, indoctrination that prevents them from assessing matters of religion the way they would, say, their finances.
The problem is that religion does not stand on its own. If one accepts religion then one accepts the whole system of morality it brings along. And that is where the catch lies.
Because of religious indoctrination, people think it is a good idea to mutilate the genitals of their daughters or just to mess with those of their sons. Other people think their religion stands before all the evidence in the world, therefore refusing to accept phenomena such as global warming; they insist on "fighting" a losing war on drugs, on making the lives of tenth of our population miserable through their refusal to recognise gay right, and on prolonging the lives of the elderly who just want to finish their lives off. Some times these people can even become their country's Prime Minister and ruin it for their entire country.
It all starts with the little things. It starts with parents insisting to lie to their kids about the whole Santa bringing their presents, often the first step in "teaching" their kids to accept falsehoods and thus a fine preparation for the bigger falsehood of religion and god/s. It continues with state schools running events such as Christmas Carols nights ahead of the holiday, or worse - state schools running religious education classes that are nothing more than organised Christian evangelism propaganda.
All of these and more can take place because the prevailing state of mind with the average Australian is that "a little bit of religion doesn't hurt anyone", or its cousin "it doesn't matter". Bullshit; it matters and it matters a lot, otherwise we would not have a Prime Minister in Tony Abbott that can openly speak in contempt of global warming.
We would not have a country filled with people who think the story of Adam and Eve makes sense.
Merry [belated] Christmas to you, too.