To Whom It May Concern
My intention is not to change any one’s mind or convince them to abandon faith. I respect and endorse everyone’s autonomy to believe in whatever they find value in as much as I respect the choice to be free of faith. It is our constitutional right.
It’s unfortunate that everyone treats faith like this thing that you not allowed to talk about or question which is not healthy or right. Especially considering what happens as a direct result of faith, and it’s not a world away as most people would like to think. Our modern age demands that we think laterally and critically about everything and that we rightly question authority especially when its abusive.
I personally know of people who have been grossly discriminated against for being gay under the premise that it is considered immoral by society. Women from Patriarchal societies like India and Islamic States who can’t to acquire property or represent their children without a man being present, either her husband or a father, uncle or brother. Muslim women are harshly reprimanded by random Muslim men in contravention of religious practice, they similarly feel they have the right to degrade their character in this regard. People have openly condemned the gay mosques here in town. It’s been making news for years now, how people are abused by religious leaders; being beaten or sprayed with chemicals under faith healing. Pastors demanding money for a new car because they are “The man of God”, and they are asking this from people who are struggling to put bread on their tables and educate their children. There is currently extensive news coverage involving Vuile Mehana in which he made gross and sexist remarks about women, and countless cases of young children being sexually abused by catholic priests.
Even now the churches are being allowed to deal with this blatant discrimination’s and human rights violations internally where in other institutions this would have been dealt with in a legal forum like criminal law, labour law, consumer protection or human rights commission.
This is why I personally cannot accept faith, and not without a lack of trying. I tried to address the things I did not agree with in the framework of faith, I stood up to talk about how churches destroy family values. I spoke out when people talked about how we should accept poverty as Christians. Even now I spend more time reading the bible and other religious text more than most people in religion. I’ve come to understand that these values are not benign as people make them out to be, and it’s the same everywhere; catholic, Methodist, protestant, Hindu, Islam, Mormon, Scientology they are all doing the same things.
So at times I get very upset when others feel they have licence and carte blanche to reprimand and insist that I be thankful and recognize the hand of god in my life. I cannot endorse the values set out by god any more than I can endorse racism, war, genocide, slavery and sexism especially if its happening to people very close to me. And these are all things very unambiguously endorsed through the new and old testaments.
These things are important to me because I care about what is really true, and I care about the rights of others and it matters to me when I see the poorest of the poor be extorted and oppressed at the hand of all religions not only Christianity.
No one seems to want to do anything about it because we not allowed to speak out against it.
It is not my express purpose to offend your religious sensitivities or deny your autonomy to abide by them. But faith does not stand apart from society nor above it, the rights and dignity of all peoples must be protected. It there for absolutely necessary that we have this clear and open dialogue, that we exchange our ideas, our views and our values and educate one another and our selves. We must address the challenges and short comings faced by a religion in modern world that has long surpassed faith’s sense morality, human rights and equality for all.
Concerned Citizen of Humanity