My buttons, they have been pushed.

Aug 26, 2009 | FAIL

On my way to work this morning, I was listening to our talk radio station, as I do every morning. Blah blah, the Georgia Bulldogs are going to start playing soon, blah blah, the weather will be clear but hot today, blah blah, “some school students were sent home this week because they were wearing shirts that said “Islam is of the devil.”

Wait, what??

I made a mental note, determined that I would Google “Islam is of the Devil” t-shirts, and there it was. A (so-called) church in Gainesville, Florida called the Dove World Outreach Center is putting kids in these t-shirts and sending them to school with hate in their hearts.

I’m not a really religious person, but I do believe in the utmost equality for every human being. I believe in the power of good people doing good things, and this, this I completely, absolutely disagree with.

When I read the Frequently Asked Questions on the church’s website, it made my heart ache. Physically just ACHE. Who is this pastor, this so-called “child of God,” and what makes him any better than the very same religious zealots they’re fighting against?

Why would the Church put up such a sign? To expose Islam for what it is. It is a violent and oppressive religion that is trying to mascarade itself as a religion of peace, seeking to deceive our society.

WHOA WHOA WHOA, there, sir. You seem to be conveniently forgetting the Inquisition. The torture and burning at the stake of innocents believed to be witches, the molestation of alter boys, the forceful nature of mission trips and “spreading God’s love”.

This isn’t spreading God’s love – this is spreading HATE.

Above all other things, this is what makes me deny most religious belief systems, because I haven’t found one yet that is completely free of hate and judgment. And maybe I won’t, either. Maybe that will eventually seal my fate as a true non-believer. I don’t know. But there has to be a better way, a truer way of thinking, a nonjudgmental, peaceful way of thinking. Until that day comes, consider me a nonjudgemental, nonaggressive, nonbeliever.

The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not. – Eric Hoffer

5 Comments

  1. Mike P

    I agree with you 110% Ash. Religion is a very dangerous thing, and rational human beings should be able to see through it, unfortunately, this is not the case. People blindly follow these institutions then carry out the will of those in charge, wether it be pouring soup for the homeless, or slaughtering tens of thousands in the name of “God”. If you find a better/truer way of thinking, please enlighten me! Until then, I will continue to be a Pastafarian, haha.

  2. Geek in Heels

    I am a Christian (I’m also a Sunday school teacher) and it always kills me inside to read stories like this. I know that no religion is perfect because they have been shaped by man, but I do think that God is perfect and it disheartens me to know of more instances of people who try to spread God’s word and love through hate. 🙁

  3. Anonymous

    WHAT GOD IS
    “Did you ever talk to Dr. Hoenikker?” I asked Miss Faust.
    “Oh, certainly, I talked to him a lot.”
    “Do any conversations stick in your mind?”
    “There was one where he bet I couldn’t tell him anything that was absolutely true. So I told him ‘God is love.'”
    “And what did he say?”
    “He said, ‘What is God? What is love?'”
    “Um.”
    “But God really is love, you know,” said Miss Faust, “no matter what Dr. Hoenikker said.”

    Religion is this country has become a very temperamental thing in recent years. Quite the opposite of its intent. This is a very interesting post, to see the intolerant direction of the movement that was based on the virtues of tolerance. Am on this theory of religious dilution into the political stream and the manipulation from the bully pulpit. Haven’t been a big fan of the Obama Presidency (liked him better as a candidate), but I think there is a lot of reaction to him that I believe is racially based, but channeled through some righteousness or political embankment. They call him a “Nazi” I guess they don’t have the guts to use their other “N” word. What does this have to do with your post? That I think all this hate is spewing from a similar well.

  4. Ashley

    I’m planning on re-reading that (but maybe not my newest/oldest copy, for fear of ruining it). I think I’ll probably see things I didn’t when I was 20 or so and read it.

    What you said about the hate spewing from a similar well, I think there’s a lot of truth to that. For me, it’s not so much a religious issue as it is just a “love thy neighbor because it’s the right and civil thing to do” kind of thing. I don’t know. I hate blind hatred, I guess, whatever the root is.

  5. Kimberly Julie

    I feel that religion is inherently hateful because it shuns the nonbelievers… shuuuuuun! Kidding. Ahem, back to the point… One of the basic premises of religion is that following it is the only way to achieve heaven/enlightenment/whatever, which requires that everyone *not* following the same path is, well, wrong. And we all know what happens when men (and women) get a false sense of propriety and entitlement…