"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." - - - William Blum

December 07, 2007

Blogs are, among other things, a forum for expressing opinions. Mitt Romney implied, this week, that Americans without religious beliefs shouldn't be allowed to participate in government. So let me say a few things about my "religious beliefs".

I am an atheist. There is nothing that exists as an invisible, living entity with superpowers (benevolent or otherwise). That there could be is pure fantasy.

All religious books, doctrines, groups, churches and so forth are based on opinions of humans and on their imaginations.

Religions developed for many reasons, chief among them being a vehicle for comforting the anxiety of death by creating imaginary places one might "go" when his/her body no longer maintains viability. Religion is also used by powerful groups as a social device to control the behavior of masses of people.

If persons seek comfort and moral direction through personal religious beliefs, then I fully support them in their endeavor, as long as they don't attempt to influence me by imposing their beliefs and behaviors onto my life. If they want to express their beliefs through celebration, worship, literature or other medium, then I fully support them as long as I am not forced to hear, see, touch, taste or participate in manifestations of their beliefs.

For whatever reason, many people lead happier and more productive lives when they practice a religion of their choice. Other people lead miserable and restricted lives when they choose to follow some or all of the tenets of their religion (their misery makes me sad). The point is, it's their choice and I accept it.

It is a common assumption that religious people are morally and ethically superior to the rest of humanity. I base my behavior, morals and ethics on common sense, honesty and respect of others. I do so not because I fear, if I fail, some form of punishment by an invisible entity, but because my conscience has evolved such that I must behave so. I do not think my morals or ethics are superior or inferior to those of religious people, but rather that they are uniquely mine.

If others believe that they are morally and ethically superior to me, then I have no problem with that. I insist only that they keep that belief out of my life, my schools, my health care and my government.

So I guess I shouldn't be looking for a job in the Mitt Romney Administration.


No comments: