As I have always maintained, I do not care if believers worship a blue-eyed blonde semi-naked Jew nailed to a cross, a bearded dessert dwelling prophet, a fat cow, a golden snake or a thunder God. As long as they do not force their beliefs down my throat, teach it to children as FACTS in public schools, preach it to me in public space or seek to make their religion my state law, I do not care. However, when they do any of these, of course they are going to have their religion put under intellectual scrutiny and if found wanting, it shall be exposed and If funny, it shall be ridiculed. When people preach to me about a talking snake, talking donkey and a Noah’s ark, I reserve every right to ridicule such funny tales and be indignant that anyone should be allowed to teach such absurdities as facts in public schools.
Anyone is free to believe in a cow, snake, a blue-eyed blonde who turned into a Zombie, a long bearded paedophile prophet or a golden snake; it is none of my business so far they keep their beliefs to themselves.
However, it immediately becomes my business when I am forced to adhere to and pay for some ridiculous beliefs of others. I pay my tax as a dutiful citizen, yet those religious establishments are exempted from paying tax, they are sponsored on some ridiculous pilgrimages with taxpayers’ money! This is not even enough for them, as they are always trying to influence state policies and Laws based on their ludicrous beliefs, they even attempt to stop scientific progress especially in the area of Stem cell research all because of their religious belief in the existence of a soul!
I am often bombarded with protest messages on my Facebook wall and social media inbox about my anti-religion posts, I am using this post to answer 10 questions that keep popping up, and clarify why I speak out against religion. Now, I have a handy link for the next aggrieved person. Problem solved!
1- “Anti-Religion posts are disrespectful, as an LGBT activist, you should preach tolerance!”
About respect and tolerance, RESPECT is not given; it is earned. ALL beliefs must earn their place of respect. Being a LGBT advocate/human rights activist does not just depend on a belief system but a FACT that LGBT rights are HUMAN RIGHTS and all human beings are born equal in rights and dignity.
I would definitely defend the right of anyone to practice their religion so far it is not harmful, does not violate my space, does not seek to impose state policy and have no special status in governance and they pay their taxes like every other corporation.
‘Holy books’ are shoved in my face everywhere I turned, I have a right to review these books and give my two cents, irrespective of whose Ox is gored. Anyone who is so qualified is free to dispute the scientific fact about sexual orientation, evolution or the principled beliefs, laws and various treaties on human rights.
RESPECT is earned not demanded, if I genuinely believe that a particular belief is ludicrous, of course I am not going to respect it because to respect something, you have to VALUE IT. I do not value irrationality.
I do not believe that –
- A woman should be treated as a property.
- A child should have a knife put on his neck by his own father who heard a voice from heavens commanding him to sacrifice his son as a test of his faith.
- All human beings are born with an ORIGINAL SIN allegedly committed by a white couple known as Adam and Eve. Therefore all humans are condemned to burn in hell forever unless they become born again by believing in a man named Jesus who came to die for a sin we never even committed and woke up again after 3 days to roam the earth like a Zombie!
Well, these are simply ridiculous, I do not RESPECT these, and I do not have to keep shut about it ESPECIALLY when the believers of these myths keep telling me to give my life to their zombie Christ or burn in hell forever.
2- “Atheists are antagonistic; they are as bad as religious fanatics!”
Religious believers are the ones who have been fighting wars and blowing people and buildings up in the name of their God. They are the ones who come knocking on my door to preach to me, they call me a fool for not believing a white bearded tyrant they call God created the world in seven days and in white he created my ancestors. This tyrant, loving father magnanimously sent his handsome blue-eyed blonde of a sexy son to come to earth and save me from a sin allegedly committed by a white couple who they say I descended from! And yeah, he turned his own son into a ZOMBIE all because he loved me even before I was born although he already sadistically created an eternally burning hell for those of us who refused to be fooled, what a sadist and BTW, I don’t like dictators, whether spiritual or physical. On a side note, I do think Jesus makes ZOMBIES look sexy, especially in that loincloth on the cross, which really could qualify as porno!
Abeg, COMRADE JESUS, save me from your followers, they rant in public places including inside a bank, and that was right here in London and of course it was a fanatic black man ranting about the good gospel, by the look of him, it seems the good gospel didn’t do him much good! Just the other day, another black man wouldn’t let me catch a wink of sleep in an interstate bus in Nigeria, with his praise worship and preaching all through the entire journey. I was not even spared a moment of peace in my hotel room as it turned out that many churches now rent the best hotels conference rooms for their Sunday services, hahaha, talk about tolerance!
Atheists do not go to people to convert them, it is usually the other way round, most importantly, ATHEISM is not a religion, you cannot convert people to atheism, people can voluntarily use their brain to come to a rational conclusion about their beliefs, embrace rationality or cling to faith. Sorry but blind faith is not good enough for some of us, however as long as your delusions do not infringe on human rights, you are welcome to your faith, belief or philosophy.
AS LONG AS these “HOLY BOOKS” remain in the NON FICTION SECTION and are sold, peddled and preached to us as NON FICTION and the TRUTH, every interested person has a right to openly analyse and criticize these so-called holy books. I really do not care if religious believers are offended by my rational criticism because it is not my problem that they cannot tolerate criticism of their religious beliefs. Their religious sensitivity is not a valid reason to CENSOR the expression of rational thoughts.
Christians often refer to other deities, especially African carved deities as DEAF and DUMB, they call the idols handmade gods that cannot hear, speak, see or act, as if their Rosary and crucifix are not handmade! I wonder how many of the Christians complaining about my anti religion posts ever stood up during one of such very common sermons condemning traditional Gods, to advise their Pastor to be tolerant of other deities, or do they all just look the other way and pat themselves on the back for choosing the MOST POWERFUL OF ALL GODS? How bigoted!
People have a right to belief and people have a right not to believe, since your precious bible and many of its believers call us non-believers fools, we have the right to point out how stupid the various myths in your precious holy books appear to rational mind. As difficult as this is for ‘faithers’ to belief, for some of us, BRAIN, not FAITH is all we need.
3- “The Christians have not written long paragraphs on fb trying to convince us to buy their beliefs. Yet the so called non-believers go on and on trying to sell us their ideology”.
REALLY? There are many religious posts and groups on Facebook and many other social networks. I have friends who talk about their God, love for Allah, their precious prophet Mohammed or how Jesus just saved them from an accident (never mind that the others that died were not considered worthy to be saved by their darling God, what egoism!). Such posts appear on my Newsfeed everyday but I do not feel a need to go to their page to ask them why they spew such nonsense. Their beliefs or whom they give thanks to is simply none of my business. If you don’t like what I post, do not read it. Social media including Facebook is like a restaurant, if you don’t like what I am serving, go eat somewhere else!
When people hold beliefs that are irrational and stupid and they preach it to the world as the TRUTH, other rational beings will continue to point out how ridiculous and stupid these beliefs are especially when believers are quick to judge non-believers.
Why must I respect the sensitivity of others who believe a gay person should be stoned to death because their holy books say so, or that women should be submissive and be treated as properties, or glorify a deity that encourages slavery and sanctioned that his so-called chosen people should commit genocide in his name?
4- “Live and Lets Live!”
“Live and Lets Live”, my sentiments exactly. However, I have realized that many Religious people don’t do the “Live and Lets Live” thing; in fact, they want to legalize their religious dogmas! Therefore, I have decided to speak out for myself and other voiceless people who want to be heard. I peddle Logic, they peddle Faith, let’s see which one would save the world from Malaria, Cancer, Climate change, Rapists, Genocides, Animal cruelty, Discrimination and a whole lots of other evils!
Of course, if people chose to be lied to, that is their prerogative, although from a legal point, it also becomes the business of the law when the liar uses their lies to exploit or harm vulnerable people.
Exposing the lies people choose to believe becomes my prerogative when these lies encroach on my rights, personal life and state laws. Religion is like a penis, it is OK to have one, it is even OK to be proud of it. However, it is not OK to bring it out and flaunt it in public and it is definitely not OK to try to force it down my throat or down my child’s throat!
The mere fact that religious believers feel the need to come on my page to demand I respect their religious beliefs even though I think these beliefs are ridiculous, also confirms that they are under the false impression that RELIGION is above critical analysis and objective criticism. Thereby trying to CENSOR my speech because of their belief that RELIGION MUST BE RESPECTED. This is a false premise that no logical, civilized society should accept.
Religion can hardly be considered a sleeping dog; it is more of a barking bull than a sleeping dog, always eager to bite. I care about the ill effects of religion on my life and how people try to justify discrimination based on religious beliefs, so I won’t let this barking dog have a field day, I refuse to be a passive victim. Also, I only respect ideas that are worth respecting, therefore religion as an instrument of oppression does not pass the respect quotient.
Atheists do not claim intellectual superiority. However if someone told me that the earth is flat and less than 6,000 years old, snakes and donkeys used to talk, a man walked on water and Noah floated an Ark with all species aboard… of course I am going to laugh out loud and point out the irrationalities inherent in these claims. If by so doing, the person feels stupid or thinks I am claiming intellectual superiority; well maybe the person should feel stupid and acknowledge that these ideas are ridiculous and irrational! You can’t blame me for being intelligent enough to point out ignorant claims. I cannot be held responsible for another person’s feeling of ignorance or inadequacies and I cannot, because I do not want anyone to feel intellectually inadequate, refuse to criticize ignorant claims that have been proved baseless.
However, I am intelligent enough to understand that REASON is lost on many believers, especially since if one could reason with Religious believers; there wouldn’t be any religious believers!
This could also read as “Yemisi is honest and direct but she is not diplomatic and does not show enough warmth or hug the haters enough, in fact she needs to show more love to the haters.”
Hmm… Ok, let me put this straight, I think this is the same reasoning that leads the society to blame the victims of criminals.
- Maybe if that woman had covered up and not wear that short dress, the rapist wouldn’t have been tempted to rape her.
- Maybe if that housewife had not raised her voice against her husband, the husband wouldn’t have beaten her black and blue.
- Maybe if Atheists keep their godless mouth shut, no one would be offended enough to leave threat messages on their walls.
Maybes, maybes, maybes… leading to
- Maybe if Homosexuals do not flaunt their love life in public, they wouldn’t be attacked on the street.
- Maybe if Transsexuals stopped being who they are, they wouldn’t be murdered.
- Maybe if atheists don’t proclaim their non-belief, they wouldn’t be called fools and jailed for blasphemy.
And on and on it goes.
I CANNOT SUGAR COAT INJUSTICE. ALWAYS SPEAK OUT AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS NO MATTER WHOSE OX IS GORED.
The truth is bitter but it must be told, I do not need to hug ignorance or haters to get them to respect my right and space. I presume first and foremost that people who comment on my posts are ADULTS; therefore I do not need to treat them with kids’ gloves or buy them candies. Also, there are established social ethics, people should not expect a hug after leaving homophobic, ignorant statements on my wall, of course I would give them an EDUCATION, if that education hurts their ego, it is their problem, not mine.
My Human Rights activism is borne out of my belief in humanity, not out of hatred of human rights violators. I can only do what I do so passionately because I believe in humanity and understand the meaning of love. I feel ‘Love’ enough to want a positive change, enough to speak out and enough to tell the haters just where to go chuck their ignorance and hate. Without love, I wouldn’t be a passionate human rights activist; I would simply be a human rights careerist going through the motions of defending rights learned at school.
My fierce attitude comes from my passion for the causes I undertake. I am happy that in the 15 years I have actively being defending human rights professionally and personally, I am yet to reach that stage where I would say” I USED TO BE FIERCE”. In all sincerity, I hope I never do get to that stage because all causes I am fierce about are worth dying for until the last of the injustice is erased.
8- “We are sick of your Blasphemy!”
Ever heard of CENSORSHIP?
Ever heard of that right we fought for called ‘Freedom of Expression’?
Do you understand that Freedom of Religion also means Freedom from Religion?
Asserting my atheism means talking about my NON-BELIEF in GOD(S).
I am not going to believers’ space to demand that they stop talking about their precious God, why should they demand that I must not talk about how improbable and ridiculous their God is or about the atrocities committed in their God’s name, in my own space?
Religion is one of many ideologies in the market place of ideas; it is not a copyright belonging to Christians, Muslims or other religious believers. Once this idea is peddled in a public place, and ‘Holy’ books published and distributed to members of the public, it becomes open to review like every other public ideas and ideologies. If you do not want your God critically analysed, learn to keep your God private. Simple!
I will ignore this non-existent being when-
- His adherents stop influencing state policies and Law in His name,
- They stop trying to put me in jail for 14 years because of my sexual orientation in His name
- They stop teaching their fictional tales to children in schools as non-fiction
- They stop trying to convert me to their religion
- They stop telling me I will burn in hell
Maybe then, I will consider leaving them alone to enjoy their imaginary Sky Daddy, until then… they have got mail!
Blaspheme is a word that should not exist. The fact that it exists at all sickens me. The fact that people go to jail for criticizing a religion makes me want to puke. The fact that 25,000 Muslims took to the streets in India and burned down Buddhists temples because as they claimed, a Buddhist mocked Islam on his Facebook page is sickening!
If believers want something to get sickened about, no, it is not the number of atheists, freethinkers, secularists and skeptics satirizing religion or ridiculing so called prophets and imaginary beings on Blasphemy Rights Day. The real sickness is the fact that some people think they are justified to harass, torture and go on a violent spree because their feelings was hurt when someone drew a picture of their beloved prophet or when I proclaim that I do not believe in their God. The vitriol of hate comes from the men who shot a girl for wanting to go to school and get an education! No, atheists are not the ones filled with hate!
What I hate is the fact that whether I believe in God or not, part of my taxpayers’ money goes to sponsoring annual holy pilgrimages. My country, Nigeria, which claims to be a democratic secular state, is in fact a member of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) even though the numbers of Christians and closeted pagans probably outnumbered Muslims in the country.
I hate that every opportunity, believers try to influence state laws and policies quoting from their ignorant religious beliefs. Now, this is a daily nightmare I face in a religious society.
Well, it is worth pointing out that I am not the one going on other people’s wall to tell them not to talk about their beliefs.
I do not get offended when people post on their wall that God just saved them from a disaster.
I do not foam in the mouth when believers post on their wall that atheists are fools.
I do not come running like a maniac to another person’s wall just because a friend commented on a religious post and the post appeared on my news feed.
No, I am not the one with the hate problem.
9- “You must have being hurt to turn into an atheist!”
What hurt? Yeah, another all-assuming person concluding that something terrible must have happened for one to turn one into an atheist! Another ignoramus telling an atheist that all it takes to become an atheist is for religious minded folks to hurt you and bang, you turn into an atheist! This is such a ridiculous assumption that I am tired of hearing. It is the same as assuming that a woman is a lesbian because she had been hurt or raped by men!
Now stare into your screen and read this very carefully:
MY ATHEISM IS NOT A RESULT OF HURT CAUSED ME BY RELIGIOUS MINDED FOLKS, IT IS BECAUSE I READ THE BIBLE AND THE BIBLE TURNED ME INTO A BABY EATING ATHEIST!
I read various holy books and these made me realized that humans from time immemorial, have been creating gods in their own vindictive, bigoted, egoistic, jealous and selfish image! Simply put, I outgrew the God delusion.
10- “Atheists are only interested in ridiculing religion!”
As an Atheist, I do not believe in the existence of a God. As a secularist, I am for the separation of State and religion. As an Anti-Theist, I am actively against THEISM for its lack of evidence and the way it encourages the growth of what I refer to as ‘The Cancer Called Religion’
I should be free to express myself in non-harmful ways and the religious believers should be free to express themselves in non-harmful ways. Freedom of expression is one of the tenets of democracy. I can carry placards saying I do not believe your God exist, and you can carry placards calling me a fool. As long as it is all about PEACEFUL demonstration, we are OK.
Hate speech is what we are against, never confuse freedom of speech with Hate speech, Free speech liberates, Hate Speech Kills, unfortunately many suicides victims of BULLYING are not alive to testify to this fact.
Anyway, why would I want to respect a God or belief that preaches about –
- A Talking Snake?
- An Original Sin passed down to generation unborn?
- A vindictive God who sanction genocide and order the wiping out of whole communities including children and animals simply because of a jealousy fit he had when these members of the communities refused to worship him and carved for themselves other Gods in golden image?
Why would I not laugh at a book that claims the planet earth is flat and stands on four corners of the universe?
And why won’t I laugh at these believers who still come knocking on my door to preach these ridiculous beliefs to me even after we have strong evidence that the planet is not flat, the first human was not white, Noah’s Ark could never have sailed and that not all living things lived within few miles of Noah’s house! It is funny, ridiculous, and so pathetic that some people still go around preaching this shit!
Of course, it is comedy gold and I shall laugh, but I shall also fight back when these ridiculous beliefs are the basis of my oppression.
I shall speak out because their book claims that as a woman, I am inferior and should not have same rights, I should be stoned to death for being bisexual and because of their religious beliefs, they passed a 14 years imprisonment law for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transsexuals and LGBT rights advocates in my country.
Yes, it is ridiculous, ignorant and wicked, so I shall speak out while laughing at their folly. This is the freedom of democracy; every idea is open to scrutiny in the market place of ideas. I criticize Capitalism and Disney films that promote gender stereotypes, why should I not criticize Religion. Is it not just another idea peddled in the market place of ideas therefore open to public scrutiny?
RELIGION has no criticism pass! Why any believer would want an immunity pass for their religion is befuddling, after all if you truly believe in something, defend it with LOGIC, not with Fatwas, bombs and Guns!
Faith is not Knowledge that is why it is called FAITH. Some of us prefer knowledge because Knowledge is what gets things done; Knowledge is responsible for many progressive developments and our civilization, not faith.
My position on religion was well stated by one of my favourite Atheist bloggers, Greta Christina in her blog post ‘The Armour of God , or The Top One Reason Religion Is Harmful.
“I’m not saying that religion is the root of all evil. I’m not arguing that a world without religion would be a blissful Utopia where everyone holds hands and chocolate flows in the streets. (And then we all die, because the chocolate is drowning us and we can’t swim because we’re holding hands.) I don’t know of any atheist who’d argue that. I know that the impulses driving evil are deeply rooted in human nature, and religion is far from the only thing to inspire it.
I’m saying that religion provides a uniquely stubborn justification for evil. I’m saying that religion is uniquely armored against criticism, questioning, and self-correction… and that this armor protects it against the reality checks that act, to a limited degree and in the long run, to keep evil in check. I’m saying that religion takes the human impulses to evil, and cuts the brake line, and sends them careening down a hill and into the center of town.
Yes — even moderate religion. Not to nearly the same degree as extreme religion, of course. If all religion were moderate, ecumenical, separate from government, supportive of science, and accepting of non-belief… well, atheists would still disagree with it, but most of us wouldn’t much care.
But moderate religion still does harm. It still encourages people to believe in invisible beings, inaudible voices, intangible entities, undetectable forces, and events and judgments that happen after we die. And therefore, it still disables reality checks… making people more vulnerable to oppression, fraud, and abuse.”
Dear theist, I must also inform you that contrary to your frequent rant on how Atheists hate God, I DO NOT HATE GOD, I CANNOT HATE THAT WHICH DOES NOT EXIST!
I hate to break it to you but you’ve only succeeded in creating a lousy character you named God, it still does not mean this character actually exist.
Grow up theists, Superman, Batman, Let Luthor, Darkseid might elicit love and hate, it still does not mean they actually exist!