Current Events And Religious Recovery

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Recent news stories have reminded me of how religious ideas can hurt people, often without trying. I know plenty of religious people who are proud when they get a religious issue addressed by new laws. They feel like they’re able to tell themselves that they’re making progress.

Except, it’s rarely ever true.

Too many laws passed by so-called god-fearing legislatures have resulted in lost court battles, millions of lost dollars in litigation, and fearful time spent by people just trying to get through life one day at a time. These costs are hard to comprehend. They don’t make it in front of a camera. They hide behind a curtain of ignorance.

I think if people saw immediate consequences of their ideas, they probably wouldn’t hold onto them so tightly. It’s one thing to punish someone with fifty lashes. It’s another matter entirely to swing the whip. By putting the weapon in a stranger’s hand, people are allowed to say they’re not hurting anyone.

It took me too long to discover there was no inherent connection between religious beliefs and goodness. Yes, it’s a controversial thing to say when I’m surrounded by people of Christian faith. They can point to dozens of nice verses that sound loving and kind and the best thing ever. Just because it sounds nice, doesn’t mean it is nice.

To the people who are quietly wondering about the goodness of their religious communities, I can tell you that you’re not wrong for wondering. It doesn’t mean that people you hold in esteem are bad or broken or evil. Instead, it just means they might not understand they’re in intellectual quicksand. You can’t help them by joining them.

4 thoughts on “Current Events And Religious Recovery

  1. I don’t know, SB. I don’t consider religious communities either good or bad, and I’m immersed in one. They’re communities of people – some still holding onto beliefs millenia old, some not. As for intellectual quicksand, again, that depends on the religious community, and I find mine constantly challenges my perceptions and assumptions. So what is this quicksand you’re referring to?

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    • Intellectual quicksand is when a person is compelled to keep a religious belief beyond anything else. Some communities foster this compulsion, for various reasons. It leads to being stuck believing the same thing despite seeing things which contradict the belief.

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      • I’m pleased that you answered with “Some communities” instead of “Religious communities”. While perhaps it’s more common within religious communities, there’s plenty of it going around in other communities as well. Intellectual quicksand includes the pathalisation by health professionals and the dehumanisation by much of society of my condition of autism. The evidence is there that autistic people are not defective, just different, but it’s not what those in the “autism industry” want to see or hear.

        In much the same way you need to hide your atheism from those around you, I need to hide my autism – how I experience the world and how I respond to that experience – if i’m not to be viewed and treated as something less than human. For example it’s illegal and/or unethical to condition behaviour in humans or animals via electric shock, but not if you’re an autistic human.

        Sorry for the rant. Religion has had, for me, a positive outcome, whereas outside that community I’m constantly put down and punished for being me – an autistic person.

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  2. They can point to dozens of nice verses that sound loving and kind and the best thing ever. Just because it sounds nice, doesn’t mean it is nice.

    Unfortunately, too many fail to recognize this. Moreover, they fail to even follow the “nice verses.”

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