Religion—It’s just not for me

It seems like one doesn’t have to look very far or wait too long here at NIU before he or she runs into a white Christian knight, self-righteously waving his or her bloodied sword of morality at us sinners.

Be it in the op-ed pages of the Star, the Letters to the Editor section of the paper or just a stroll through the MLK Commons, it seems there is no happier creature than religion’s many mindless sheep, Bible in hand, decrying sin with blood-lust in their eyes…

I really don’t care if someone wants to waste their life away, content to live life wearing blinders and extracting guidance from a book which is mediocre fiction at best. That’s his or her problem. I just don’t want anything to do with it.

Although it should amaze me how many people allow their lives to be molded by a book, it really doesn’t. The Bible, in its inherent vagueness, happens to support just about any course of action one may be compelled to perform. Why do you think it’s been used to justify almost every act of cruelty mankind has performed? (The Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition just happen to pop into mind).

You happened to have participated in gang rape and feel guilty? Don’t worry about it. Genesis 19:8 says it’s okay. Lot, revered for his holiness, says to a mob outside his house, looking for two men he has sheltered, “I have two daughters who have never had intercourse with men. Let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you please, but don’t do anything to these men, for you know they have come under the shelter of my roof.”

How about justification for the mass murdering of children? See II Kings 2:23. In that little snippet, the Lord’s priest Elisha was on his way to Bethel. On the way, some small boys came up to him and taunted him about his bald head. This I have to quote: “The prophet turned and saw them, and he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the children to pieces.” Good thing the guy in the Hair Club for Men commercials isn’t a priest. (You know the one, he’s not only the president of the company, but a customer, too.)

It shouldn’t be too difficult to see why I can’t place any seriousness in the book, but don’t just take my word on the above two examples. Look them up.

Inconsistencies in the Bible are so numerous I can’t even begin to list them. For example, why is it that in the Old Testament, God is this uncompromising and spiteful God, turning whole villages to sand and such, while when you turn the page to the New Testament, he turns into this swell guy you’d want to invite home for dinner with Mom and Dad?

Well, I suppose the older God gets, the more mellowed out and less demonstrative he tends to become. I can understand that. My grandfather is the same way.

I can see how religion is utilized by many lacking guidance or purpose. I encounter those problems myself. Still, I have looked at religion and any kind of answers are conspicuously absent from it (and I’m not just talking Christianity, but all the major religions of the world). You may not agree with me on that point, but just think about the many times you’ve heard a question on a difficult religious matter answered, “Just have faith. It’s all too big for us to understand.”

Sorry, but faith doesn’t solve anything. I seek concrete answers to my very concrete problems and if religion can’t answer them because of its inevitable limitations, then I don’t need its excess baggage in my quest for purpose.

Religion, being created by mankind, can’t help but be imperfect. I don’t pretend to have all the answers or even understand the problems, but the mistakes I make will be my own, and when all is over and done I will be sure in the fact that I created my own destiny, and didn’t just play-act a part read out of a book.