Religion bashing makes no fucking sense to me.

Maybe it’s because it smacks of bullying, and I had a number of friends who were bullied when we were young.  Maybe it’s because I never saw the point of trying to make others look small to make myself more important.  Maybe it’s because I just think it is incredibly stupid and makes people look more like jerks than they already are.  Whatever the reason, whatever the season, bashing religion in general or a specific religion in particular just does not compute for me.

I understand baggage;  everyone has baggage and some of it is definitely religion-specific.  I understand bad experiences; I’ve had tons myself.  I also understand a lousy fit; no matter how badly the proselytizers wants us to believe it, there’s no religion out there that is perfect for everyone.  I’ve noticed, though, that baggage, and bad experiences, and lousy fits don’t (usually) lead to blanket bashing.  They do lead to constructive criticism and personal opinions and discussion and debate…all of which are good things.

So, here I am, trying to make sense of something I don’t grok and I’ve actually latched onto a couple of thoughts that may or may not be helpful:

  • People who bash religions they don’t follow are operating from a place of ignorance either related to a lack of education on the topic or a viewpoint that their own religion is the only true one.
  • People who bash religions they don’t follow (often) don’t remember that there are assholes in all groups and that one asshole does not a failure make.
  • People who bash religions they don’t follow may actually be the asshole of their own group.

(Okay, that last one gets a winky face after it, but you know what I mean.)

I guess I’m operating from a particular point of view (well, when don’t I?) but here’s the thing for me: I want my religious path to be respected, if not understood.  I’d ideally like it to receive the same acknowledgement of being valid (not true – they’re two different things) that the JCI faiths do.  Why on Earth would I bash someone else’s religion if I want my own to be free of similar bashing???

Do unto others, after all.


3 responses to “Whack-a-Religion

  1. I totally don’t get the pagans who do general Christian bashing as if all Christians are terrible people. Do they live in some kind of Christian-less bubble? I can almost forgive many Christians for pagan-bashing because I bet many of them don’t think they know any pagans and therefor don’t know what pagans are really like. But American pagans know plenty of Christians and I’m sure most of them are not horrible people. Most of my meat-space friends are Christian, in fact!

    • Most of mine are too, or lapsed Christian, or something. The fact that they are my friends kind of speaks for itself – I don’t associate with narrow-minded people, in general.

  2. As someone who does some interfaith work with atheists, ARGGGGGGGGGHHHHH yes. The ignorance and hate some of them spew while complaining about hatred from theists is amazing. They’re so blind to it. They point fingers at theists (monotheists–it’s a real eyeopener when they realize polytheists do exist) as if theistic religion is the source of all ills in the world. Sure, a lot of horrible things have been done in the name of religion. That’s because religions are full of *people* and people can be d-bags.

    Also note that there’s a subset of religion-bashers who think they sound sophisticated and modern when they mock the concept of religion and all its trappings. These are usually the same people who have no idea what their target is beyond sound bites.

    Amazingly enough, I haven’t run into many bashers from monotheists. A few older ones, yes, but the younger monotheists I’ve found to be quite respectful, if confused. (“Wait, *how* many gods do you believe in? Goddesses?”) I’ve seen lots of Christian-bashing from pagans. Seems like it’s a phase for many of them that they’ll cringe at in a few years. 🙂

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