Religion, blasphemy & censorship: Tolerance of Others

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First off, this is not an article that’s meant to create hype, controversy, anger or any other such emotions.  It is a general observation of what I’ve noticed, what i believe and what’s been said to me that makes me want to share my thoughts and opinions and most importantly get someone to understand.  If anyone that reads this is extremely sensitive about their religion please read this with a mind of understanding, the ability to see from my point of view because the last thing i want to do is upset a reader which might be to much to ask given the nature of this article.

I was brought up in a christian home.  My mother taught me that God created the world, the land and the skies, the beautiful ocean and all the wonderful animals.  She taught me about heaven and hell and that we should follow the bible’s lessons and praise The Lord‘s name so that when i die i could get into heaven and be abolished of sin.  However when i got older i started to realize that what my mother preached she seldom lived by.  Does this really change who she is?  Not at all.  She is still a fantastic mother and a wonderful person who’s only crime is caring to much.   When i got even older i started to see that people that were teaching this were not the people you thought them to be and liked to pick parts of the bible to believe in and live by.

Which brings me to now…

The other day a colleague of mine asked if I had a film and if I wouldn’t mind copying it for him as his son is a huge fan of said film.  So i don’t mind doing this for him and got it for him two days later.  (Yes i know, piracy is a crime and my point is coming soon)  When he copied it over from me i suddenly realized something.  This guy is a pastor.  So i asked him if it wasn’t against his beliefs to ask for and accept copyrighted material as it’s stealing.  He admitted to me that he didn’t think of it this way and then deleted the film promptly…or so he says.  Honestly though he did look a bit frazzled after i questioned him about “Though shall not steal.”  I’m not judging this guy at all because i honestly couldn’t care less about what he feels is wrong or right or how he should live his life, I was just trying to understand how one can live by one rule and completely ignore the other.

A few days later i was having a conversation with another colleague and his special someone.  Both of them are born again Christians and are trying to live their life according to the bibles teachings.  While we were having a pleasant conversation i said “Oh my God” and my colleagues partner promptly began to tell me that she didn’t appreciate me saying it and that i shouldn’t say it in front of her.  I started to get a little annoyed at this but got over it and carried on with our conversation.  We were talking about The Simpsons and that i would like to share it with him and again, his partner had something to say.  Along the lines of The Simpsons is blasphemy and she doesn’t want him to have it and so forth.  People are just to damn sensitive in my opinion.  I do believe in some things but i don’t yell Blasphemy when a show is simply poking fun at something i feel strongly about, like every other show out there that pokes at something (Have a sense of humor would you) and i certainly wouldn’t talk about my belief if i knew the other person would feel uncomfortable about it.   At the same time telling me what i can’t say but admitting to watching pirated movies or playing copied games is OK.

How am I going to know that if everything that i want to share with them might offend them then i might have to put a censorship filter on me and I would never know what would be the right or wrong thing to say would be.

My point is this.  If me saying “Oh my God” is going to offend someone then i feel that i have just as much right to say,“the fact that you don’t want me to say this offends me because in you telling me what i can or can not say is you indirectly trying to change me or impose your belief on me.”  

Why should i tolerate your belief if you’re not prepared to tolerate my non-belief?  This should be a two way street…

Does that mean that when a Jew walks within ear shot i should not say christian things in case it offends him?  I’d like to think that religion teaches tolerance but in this world most of the people who preach this are the ones who are living by select parts of their religion.  I try my best to tolerate everyone but i will not accept someone who tries to change me because they believe in something.

This is why I have no religion.  If I had to become religious i would be the biggest hypocrite ever.  I would not stop anything that i do so i would rather not pretend to be something I’m not.

I’m a good person, I live in the present and i believe that being a good person will lead to a fulfilling life.  I don’t care about life after death because i don’t know what will happen.  So i won’t stress about it.  I’d rather live my life now, spending time with my family.

If there is a hell and i wind up there, all the hypocrites there can say “I told you so!

If we learned how to tolerate others beliefs we really could make the world a better place.

In closing I present Michael Jackson’s Heal the World Music Video

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