Some people – ok, let’s face it, some religious people – seem to think that having another opinion must mean that I hate them. And let’s be honest, sometimes that’s just a cheap way of trying to „win“ a discussion, instead of answer to arguments, people start crying and sobbing „Why do you hate me?“, placing the blame on the other person. So, to clear this up for all the people who really feel hated and to give a deserved verbal (or, in this case, written) kick in the nuts to all the people who try to use „You just hate me/my religion/god/whoever“ as an „argument“, let me make it clear:
I do not hate you.
Of course, this is a little bit simplified, so let me try to explain that a little bit…
First of all: If you are a religious person, practicing your religion at home, in church, on picnics with your fellow believers, etc. – I wish you all the happiness in the world. I don’t have a problem with you and you can believe whatever you want for all I care. You can even wear sacred underwear, holy hats or whatever – just don’t expect me not to laugh.
Then why do I speak out for atheism at all? I would fight for religious freedom, no doubt about that, so what the heck is my problem? My problem is, that religion is not always a private thing. I don’t care if you collect stamps or worship satan, as long as you do it with your fellow believers (or satan collectors… erm…) I couldn’t care less, may you be happy with it. But, too often religious people want to force their values on other people and then it starts to get dirty. If you believe homosexuality is a sin, then keep your primary sexual organs away from people with the same gender, that’s ok – but do not expect others to do so or be allowed to discriminate against homosexuals. Do not try to force your religion into class rooms or courts, because these places are for all people, no matter what religion they have.
But, honestly, even if you do behave like an a…, I probably don’t hate you. I will not become your friend, ok, but hate would imply a much bigger emotional investment than I think justified for people like you. My hate is reserved for people who stone 13-year old girls because they have been raped, for example. Or for people who teach their children to laugh when they hear that a bus full of innocent people was bombed. Or for people who force their women into slavery because of their own, religious-inspired insecurities. Let’s face it, there are worse people out there than those who use their freedom of speech by trying to convince us that „god hates fags“. Those are dumb people, no doubt about that, but not important enough to really feel strongly about. They are wrong, so that’s what we have to say openly, end of the story.
I hate the extreme things that religions makes some people do and the extremists that do them, but that is not the same thing as hating all believers. Let’s face it, most victims of religiously motivated crimes are religious people themselves.
For me, religion has too much influence in today’s world. For example, here in germany, the church gets millions and millions of euro from the government – and claims it’s needed for charity, when in fact only a small percentage is used to fund hospitals, etc. A german bishop got paid more than 8.000€ per month – from the state, not the church. Religions have too many privileges. I would prefer to see religions as just another club, without any special privileges, just because they had them for almost 2.000 years. The catholic church as an employer is allowed to discriminate against gay people, against divorced people, etc. – Sorry, but this has to stop. We finally have to find a way to allow all religions to exists, all people to exercise their religious freedoms – but without allowing religion to limit the freedoms of other people. If you want to limit them yourself according to your religion, than that’s your decision, but you should never limit the freedom of others just because of your religion. This is, why I can’t remain silent. Religion may be the most important thing to you – but it should be completely unimportant to the government.
Ok, perhaps I got a little bit side-tracked here, but to conclude the whole thing: If your worst crime is to be a believer on the internet, even an annoying one, then you can rest assured that I don’t hate you.