It All Started with a Doorbell

I was working away, when I heard the ring of my doorbell. I went, unsure of what to expect. I don’t normally ever get visitors, let alone visitors that actually ring my doorbell. I wasn’t expecting a delivery. Reason of deduction led me to the likely result of a Jehovah’s Witness being my impromptu visitor. I answered the door, with a dialogue in my head, and I was not disappointed.

“Hi! Good morning to you.” The pleasant woman responded as I opened the door. “Here is an invitation to you, to join us in hearing the good word of Jesus.”

“That’s mighty nice of you. Have you heard of the good word of the flying spaghetti monster?” I replied.

She looked at me, stunned. “Um. No. I haven’t heard of that. He must be a fake God.”

I smiled. “Well, what makes one fake God better than another?”

She had no response, and quickly left me with the invitation in my hand. I watched her scurry down the driveway as fast as she could. I was probably inappropriately pleased with myself over this exchange.

Which leads to an interesting point. What does make one God better than another, that people are willing to kill over this ideal? The answer might shock you: there is no difference between the God that each religion claims to cherish. This God that they all believe in believes in equality, kindness and other positive feels that the so-called believers forget exist. Instead, they would rather fight over which of their “fake” Gods are better than another and cause public debate over it. Are Atheists better than Christians? Are Christians better than Muslims? Where do the Jewish fit in on this grand scheme of awesome?

No. Atheists are not better than religious fanatics, because they can be just as ignorant and unaccepting as the religions they claim to hate. People have a right to religion as they have a right to not walk down that path. I don’t believe there is a God, but I don’t consider myself an Atheist. I don’t believe because I have a hard time stomaching what religions do in the name of their love of God. Spewing hate rhetoric on all sides and ignoring that people just are born different is not something I want to have anything to do with. Does this make me a horrible person? No. I believe that people should be charitable and kind to others and I don’t believe I need religion to do that.

I have people lecture me all the time about my choice to put my children through Catechism classes. “But I thought you were an Atheist?” “I thought you were intelligent, how could you brainwash your child that way?” I think that is as closed-minded as it comes. Just because I don’t believe does not mean I shouldn’t give my child the choice to believe. If my sons want to remain Catholics as I have raised them, then that is their choice. If they choose another path, that is their choice as well. What matters is that I gave them the choice to be whatever they want. If they want to convert peacefully into another religion, that is their right. Part of parenting is allowing children to make these types of decisions on their own.

So next time you find yourself judging another person, think about if that’s the type of belief system you want to have in your life and if that is how you want to raise your child. Children learn by watching their parents. If you teach them hate and disrespect, that is all on you and not your religion. Just because their God (or lack of God) is not yours, does not mean that you are automatically a better person as a result. We all walk the same path down here, and what happens when we die is all the same no matter what religion you follow: you’re dead.

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