Halloween is coming. Do you believe in ghosts? Goblins? Demons? Just curious.
Someone asked me today what I thought about religion. I assumed he meant as a concept but perhaps he was asking about what I believed. I answered the latter and the former as best I could in a short space. Religion is a very complex subject and quite volatile. At least today I do not have to worry about Inquisitions or heresy charges.
I stepped outside the religion debates many decades ago. The subject came up recently in a Dexter episode (the season opener) when Dexter is at an interview at a preschool for his son Harrison. It's a Catholic preschool and Dexter is confronted with images and icons of Jesus. The nun doing the interview (after the interview) asks him about his religious affiliation after he tells her he's not Catholic. Dexter was faced (seemingly for the first time in his life) with other people's assumptions about religious beliefs.
You see, we tend to think that everyone believes in one religious form or another. I admit, I do that also for the most part. I rarely run into actual atheists or ones that will admit it. I ran into this myself when I was 13. I wrote about it in "The Outing" where I was asked about my religious affiliation in school.
I made one of my doctors a bit nervous when I asked him if he was a Muslim. I was merely curious, he was from Pakistan. He evaded answering and I didn't push it. He could have been evading it for any number of reasons and I could see the question bothered him.
A few are very religious Christians. I do not push my atheism on them nor do I denigrate their belief. In fact, I admire it. Most of the people I know are agnostic. A few of them know I am atheist and seem unwilling to accept it, they seem to think I really meant to say "agnostic". It's rather easy to be agnostic, I think. No commitment needed. It's a bit like being a political Independent, I guess. A moderate about God.
Personally, I think human beings (in general) need religion. We are uncomfortable with the unanswered questions.
A Night Unremembered
6 years ago