Organized religion – particularly the Catholic church – tends to be fairly savvy when it comes to retaining its relatively iron-fisted grip on North Americans souls.
Lately, though, atheism has been garnering greater attention, with a number of best sellers related to atheism being released and greater media coverage being given to the topic.
Furthermore, a recent study determined that atheists are the most distrusted minority in the United States, ahead of immigrants, gays and lesbians, and Muslims. Check out the study here.
So there is your groundwork. Now it’s time for the rant.
Does the existence of atheists in a society limit the ability of people of faith to pursue their religion? Of course not. Atheism is defined by Princeton as “a lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.” It’s that simple. Just as one person chooses to believe in the existence of God, Allah, Buddha, or Santa Claus, another chooses not to believe in these entities.
Atheism is a personal choice. That should be the end of it, right? Wrong.
Organized religion, especially the Catholic church, has had a long and bloody history of suppressing all opposing views (can you say “The Crusades”?). Religious figures ranging from Pat Robertson (estimated net worth of $200 million – $1 billion) to the Vatican (several billion dollars in gold alone) make BIG money off of people believing in God. And one less person who believes in a god is one less person who will call in to Pat Robertson to donate money.
So, as usual, it all comes down to big bucks. So big religion will continue to swiftly and, on occasion, violently repress any opposition to its stranglehold on the hearts and minds of North Americans in particular, despite this intolerance going against traditional christian teachings.
So what does this have to do with recent criticisms of the Golden Compass, you ask? Just another pitched battle in the fight for freedom of belief – big religion vs. freedom and choice: the same old story. But christian groups have a point – there have never been any pro-Christan movies…right?
This dichotomy between those who claim to be christian persecuting others for their beliefs has always confused me and is one of the reasons I’ve drifted away from organized religion. If there are is anyone who believes they are christian who can provide some insight, please comment!