Originally Posted by Yosemite
One would think Mike has as much right to his opinion towards religion or anything else for that matter as the rest of us do without having to explain himself. I don't like organized religions either and have my own personal reasons but don't feel it is necessary to explain them to just anyone who asks.
Tis' ok, it isn't a secret, it just not something I flaunt around either
My family moved away from our home in Monroe county, KY sometime around my 3rd birthday. I found out when I was 12 that it was to get me and my siblings away from our extended family. The majority of my Uncles, Aunts and cousins can recite the New Testament, front to back, and tell you which verses are in red letters and which are in black...and are the most vile, hate filled collection of racists I've ever been around. It didn't take very many family reunions for me to start thinking "something about what these people believe is really, really messed up!"
So, we were basically raised without any religious direction. Not following a faith makes it very easy to look at them all equally and with interest, not just curiosity.
Then came Beirut during my time with 2/8 Marines. Christian militias were murdering hundreds, if not thousands, of Arabs in their homes in a camp whose name I forgot long ago. Muslims were blowing up cars, buildings, markets, doing drive bys. It seemed like every religion in existence was trying to out-kill all the others.
Then back home, and it seems as though every time religion is mentioned in the news, it's about who hates what, who's offended by what, who's what can go where. So, I started studying in earnest, and found that, theres actually no proof that any of these things were ever real. I read books by Silberman and Finkelstein, men who are actually working those digs in the "holy land", who are finding out that many of those corner stones of belief either didn't exist at all, or were massively exaggerated.
So, I've come to the conclusion of; Agnostic, with a lean toward Deism. Agnostic as in I don't know for sure one way or the other if a Deity exists, and Deism as in I feel that if it does exist, it would be no more interested in our daily affairs than we are the daily affairs of amoeba.
As for my constant pointing out their shortcomings, that's more mild frustration than anything else. It befuddles me why it is so impossible to grant equal treatment to Americans in America. Religion is used to create that divide, and I see a lot, a whole lot, of the ideals of my Aunts, Uncles and cousins in that division. If the numerous religions would actually practice what they claim to represent, this world may just be an alright place. But all the intolerance, discrimination and jockeying for religious position just seems to me to be terrible way to use one's beliefs, but also something that isn't likely to change any time soon
eta: Ooops, forgot! I don't favor one belief over any others at all. But when something appears to be intolerance or injustice, I have a tendency to jump in on behalf of the underdog