A friend wrote a piece about discussions he has had around religion and I was interested to see how he dealt with a situation I have found myself in a few times.
I have been gifted with my friends in that, although many of them do have various beliefs, none of them seem to be militant about them. I have had friends in the past, and known other people, who saw religion as black and white. You either have the same beliefs or are someone to be converted or lectured.
I experienced this first hand when I visited some people, while reading one of the Harry Potter books, and was silly enough to mention what I was reading. This left me caught between a stern lecture about the how the books were evil and corrupting children by promoting witchcraft, and being polite to my host. Luckily years of training from my mother meant that my manners won out and I bit my tongue. Which is sad because if the positions were reversed I would still be expected to do the same. Still in civilised society criticising someone’s religious views is seen as hugely rude but telling me that I am a heathen who will be condemned in another life is perfectly fine.
This is the time that you realise that it is a no win situation is many cases. Religious belief is not something that can be argued as it may not be something that is rational to begin with. The idea that being atheist is the same as being an immoral nut who will go around raping and killing is laughable. There are many examples in history where disgusting crimes are done, both in the name of, and somehow excused by, by a set of religious beliefs.
Now excuse me while me and some other atheists head off to do some unspeakable evil like working on the Sabbath and eating meat on Good Friday.
Queue the evil music… and may we all be touched by his noodly appendage. And no, not touched in that way.