Religion: Finding ways to harm where no one else would.

As I mentioned earlier, a religious friend of mine posted a video on Facebook about an atheist drug addict who found his faith when a wealthy philanthropist gave him money.  I wasn’t impressed with the video for a variety of reasons, which I elaborate here.  Of course, I think it’s a little rude to go to someone else’s Facebook post and rant at them, so I didn’t get too much into detail with my objections.

I did, though, have to set the record straight on one thing.  Namely, I had to point out that a deadbeat heroin addict isn’t exactly representative of the atheist community in general.  So what I said was this:

“For what it’s worth, almost every atheist I’ve met (and I’ve met many) have stories just the opposite, and consider themselves happier, and more complete people since they left faith behind.”

Nothing offensive, just pointing out that most atheists aren’t desperately wretched people.

Her response floored me.  Just a simple, “That makes me sad.”

I tried to figure out what I possibly could’ve said that might’ve made her sad.  All I said was that most atheists I knew were happy.  What’s inherently wrong with people being happy?  So I tried to clarify.

Really? That’s a shame. I’m glad that you find happiness in your faith, even if I do disagree with it. Just know that while you might have been led to believe that all atheists are morally corrupt, miserable wretches, the fact is that is not representative of most atheists in the world.

Once again, not trying to attack her beliefs.  Just trying to correct the myth theists tend to have about atheists.  I’m proud of who I am, and I’m not going to hide that my non-theistic life is full of joy.

Other friends of hers decided to join the conversation at this point to agree that it was sad that there were those of us out there who could find happiness without Jesus.  One said:

Our God is great! It is so sad that there are people who are broken enough or that have believed enough of Satan’s lies that they will never allow themselves to experience the true love of our amazing Maker/Savior/Father/Friend (etc) while they are on this earth. It is sad.

This is the point where I mentally lost it.  I found myself getting angry… angry at religion in general. How can somebody hear about a group of people living happy and fulfilling lives and find it tragic?  Somehow, my life isn’t one to rejoice in because according to a book written thousands of years ago, my happiness is founded on lies and Satan.

This is why I have issues with religion.  This is why I think the world would be better without it.  I cannot see the good in anything that twists the mind so completely that they consider somebody else’s joy insufficient.  It’s a broken worldview that can corrupt the best of intentions and feelings and somehow make them wrong.

I don’t want my friend to lose her faith if it makes her happy.  I just want her to be able to celebrate my own happiness the way I celebrate hers.

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