What Is "Religion"?
What is this thing called "religion"? Some say it is "belief", but "belief" means holding a fact-claim to be probably-true, based on a preponderance of the evidence. But "religion" does not deal with things for which physical evidence exist. "Religion" deals with people's thoughts, feelings, fears, and guesses regarding matters of good, evil, and what happens to human consciousness after death. A curious, thinking person generally speculates about what the truth might be regarding these issues, based on the person's own thoughts, feelings, emotions, intuitions, and life experience. Is this "religion"? No, not quite. Such speculations are "philosophy", not "religion". So, what is "religion"?
"Religion" is when people start taking such speculations seriously and forget that they are speculations. A large portion of the humans on planet Earth are too mentally lazy to bother thinking for themselves about these issues. So, they buy someone else's canned thoughts on the matter. These "cans of thoughts" are called "organized religions". An "organized religion" is generally a set of fact-claims put forward by some for-profit corporation, such as "The Shiite Sect of the Islamic Religion" or "The Roman Catholic Church" or "Judaism" or "The Nichiren Soshu Sect of the Buddhist Religion". These corporations sell these packages of fact-claims as being "THE TRUE WORD OF GOD! THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE RELIGION! BUY YOUR'S NOW!" But, since these are all wild guesses anyway, how could any one of these packages of wild guesses have more claim to being the truth than any other? They are all equally speculative.
If the story of religion ended there, with the mentally-lazy buying into organized religions, it would not be too much of a problem. But, alas, it does not end there. No, religionists usually don't stop at corrupting their own minds; they insist that their own insanity is "The One And Only True Religion", and they generally insist that everyone else join their religion too.
The result of this is disaster. Most of the wars fought throughout human history have been fought over organized religion. Christian crusades... Islamic Jihads... Catholic missionary activity wiping out native cultures... bombings in Beirut... massacres in Belfast... the list of evil acts on the part of those whose minds have been corrupted by organized religion goes on and on and on.
When will it end? It will end when the intelligence level of the humans of this planet reaches the point where religiosity can be seen by all for the evil, destructive madness which it is. But alas, that day may be long delayed. Even now, on the verge of the 21st century, a large portion -- maybe 3/4? -- of the human race have their minds irreparably fouled by this evil and insidious form of insanity. It is a mental disease which is still spreading like wildfire across the face of our planet.
The religionists go to great lengths to purposely spread this insanity. They are aggressive and ruthless. They will tell any lie to get more people to join them in their madness.
Is America a Christian Nation?
The Christians would have us believe that America is a "Christian" nation. But what did our founding fathers really think about religion? Let them speak for themselves:
"The United States is in no sense founded upon the
"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish
church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church,
by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor
by any church I know of; my own mind is my own church."
"It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are
twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket
nor breaks my leg."
Thomas Jefferson, again:
"I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming
"The Bible is not my book, and Christianity is not my
religion. I could never give assent to the long,
complicated statements of Christian dogma."
It can be seen from these quotes that our founding fathers were a bunch of free thinkers, not the foaming-at-the-mouth Jesus freaks that the Christians would have us believe they were! So no, America is not founded on Christianity or any other religion, and anyone who says differently is lying.
But The Christian Religion, like all religions, has never been adverse to telling whatever lies it needs to tell in order to keep the ca$h rolling into the corporate coffers. For that, of course, is what organized religions are all about: ca$h.
A group of people creates an organized religion when it wants to control a population and get them to come to church at least once a week and dump a tenth ("tithe") of their paycheck on the collection plate. That is one thing that never changes in organized religions. Different organized religions may have different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, different "holy books", and different doctrines, but they all have collection plates. That is why they exist: they exist to pay a profit to their stockholders, just like any other for-profit corporation.
So think twice before you drop your hard-earned money on that collection plate. Who's pocket are you really padding? Some god's? Hardly. (Why would a god need money? What a stupid concept!) No, you're padding the pockets of the top dogs in the hierarchy of your church. Do you really need to make these (already wealthy) men still richer? No. You don't.
Philosophy versus Religion
Don't get me wrong, I'm not speaking out against people speculating about good, evil, life, death, afterlife, or infinity. That kind of speculation is called "philosophy", and it is a good thing. By all means, think and speculate about these things.
But remember that your speculations are just that: speculations. If you try to foist-off your speculations -- or worse yet, someone else's speculations -- as being the absolute truth ("THE WORD OF THE LORD!" "THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE RELIGION!") then you have left the path of philosophy and have started to engage in the destructive, evil, psychotic madness that is religion. You are lying to yourself and everyone around you. The world has too many lies and scams in it already. Please don't add to the cesspool. Give up religion and religiosity in all of their forms today, and join the thinking generation!
"But I Don't Want To Be Branded An 'Atheist'!"
Hogwash! Yes you do! The word "atheist" means "not a theist". The word "theist" means "a believer in theism". "Theism" is the believe that the Universe was created by a single deity, who has revealed himself to humans in a holy book. (Just what book that might be varies between different theist religions.) Theism is bunk. Why support it by pretending to be a theist? Proclaim yourself to be an atheist openly! When people challenge you (and they will), explain the insanity of religion, and why they should reject it and become atheists.
And whatever you do, don't try to fence-sit by claiming to be an "agnostic". That word doesn't even come close to meaning what you think it does! It means "not a Gnostic". "Gnostic" means "person who believes in the existence of Gnosis". "Gnosis" means intuition (in the Jungian sense of the word). Since intuition does, in fact, exist, and everyone uses it all the time (whether they believe it or not), agnosticism is bullshit. So the word "agnosticism" has nothing to do with religion. It does not mean a middle ground between atheism and religiosity, so it should not be used that way.
People have told me I should be more tolerant of religion. They accuse me of "bigotry" and "discrimination" and "intolerance". Let me respond to these one by one.
"Bigotry" means racial discrimination. A religion is not a race; it is a brand of mental illness. Why should I not discriminate against that?
"Discrimination" does not mean "bigotry" or "prejudice"; it means "discerning the difference between two things which are different". (Such as between philosophy and religion, for example.) This is a good thing, not a bad thing.
"Intolerance" means refusing to tolerate something. Again, this is a good thing. One should never tolerate things (such as religion) which are intolerable!
Please understand, I am not intolerant towards religionists, just towards religion. I give religionists the same respect as I would any other mentally-ill persons. I do no harm to them. I do, however, sometimes attempt to persuade them to give up their madness and return to the path of sanity. It is usually futile, but it never hurts to try.
So the bottom line regarding tolerance is, we should tolerate and respect our religious brethren, but we should not tolerate their religion. Whenever the opportunity arises, we should gently try to cure them of their illness by telling them the real truth about religion and encouraging them to give it up. Such is the only truly compassionate course of action towards people who are infected with religion.