“But I’m religious and I’m not like that!”

A common objection to the charges laid at religious belief usually come along the lines of “But not all religious people are like that! I’m religious and I don’t do or believe any of those things!”

For the most part this is also true. Most religious people aren’t horrible or insane, they’re perfectly decent, normal people. Of course they are, but that’s because they don’t get their values or beliefs from their religious beliefs, they find things they agree with in the religion, or can mentally reconcile with their beliefs and they retrofit their beliefs to their religion.

Don’t believe me? When you read the Bible (for example) and there is a story about a genocide, a rape, or any other horrible act, you don’t go “That’s so right! This is a just God!”

You either: 1)Ignore it

2) Rationalise it as contextual or “old testament” (somehow that excuses it) or accept that it is a book written by men, not by a divine being, but just for the bad bits.

3) Justify it in some way “it was necessary”

4) Play the mystery card “we can’t know God’s intentions”

What you never do is agree with it. Why? BECAUSE you are a decent person first, before you examine a religious text. If you DID agree with all of it, you WOULD be a fundamentalist.

And if you don’t believe the text is even divinely inspired, then why do you count yourself as part of the religion? If you don’t accept the tenets set out in them, or their historical accuracy, in what way are you part of that religion, and why do you believe it?

As is always my point, I don’t really care what you believe, but I do care why you believe it.


2 thoughts on ““But I’m religious and I’m not like that!”

  1. I agree that not all religious folk are insane-it’s simply those who choose the base their beliefs and value systems on the religious beliefs and values they are taught at some time or another in their lives.
    In fact, I used to know these two women that would come and eat at the buffet once a week-and they didn’t let their beliefs and values tell them I was going to hell, tell them to tell me I was going to hell, and then tell them to try and save me because it would be the ‘right’ thing to do. (believe it or not I have encountered people like that many times before living in a northern redneck country/city.
    For me it’s not about knowing why a person believes in what they believe in, I hope that each person’s believes are rational, logical, and otherwise backed up by fact-but that’s just my perspective. I’ll be the first to admit, I may not be able to explain all of my beliefs, and thus, I shouldn’t expect others to explain theirs.
    For me the problem arises when one thinks that just because they believe, others should-and that poses an even greater problem to me when said one cannot even explain why-just that’s it ‘right’, or ‘wrong’ to believe otherwise, or that it’s ‘natural’. What do these words have in common with the word ‘belief’ anyways? What’s ‘right’ for me is not going to be ‘right’ for everyone I meet–I just think that super religious types need to take a step back sometimes and smell the crazy they are reeking of. πŸ˜›
    Anyways, that’s my response πŸ˜› hehe<3

    • I think what it comes down to is that you should be able to say why you believe something- If you can’t, you should acknowledge that fact and be prepared to change your opinion if you find out some reason why your reasoning is off. Even when you have no specific reasons, there will be SOME reason, even if it’s not an evidence based one.

      Everyone has beliefs they hold for either not particular reason or irrational reasons- we’re not perfect, but I think it’s better in the long run if we accept that we sometimes do believe things for irrational reasons, but those are the things we try not to base our lives around.

      Thanks for the comment!

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