Are You KIDDING Me With This???

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

You Say Heretic Like It's A Bad Thing

I love that Snark's Mistress is in college. She doesn't, because she's sick of school and is not looking forward to another few years of class presentations and group projects and 15-page essays. But I do, because I always end up learning things from her hysterical rantings after one of her classes gets her worked into a lather. Usually, it's something from her women's studies classes and has to do with what I need to teach Turtle so I don't inadvertently end up raising a boy whose subconscious behavior supports and upholds an unfairly patriarchal society. Occasionally, though, I learn something about myself and my own personal values and belief systems.

Last semester, for example, I learned that I am an extremely selfish person who is fundamentally incapable of caring for my fellow man. I know. I was surprised, too. I hadn't really thought of myself as selfish before, but Snark's Mistress was kind enough to fill me in after a heated discussion in her psych class. How did she find out? Well, her classmates politely informed her that anyone who grows up without formal religion is doomed to be completely self-centered. Therefore, I, who grew up without any kind of religious background, am doomed to be selfish, immoral, and probably a slut. (They didn't actually come out and say I was a slut. I just kind of assumed that's where they were going with things.)

I am so glad she let me know, because I had been feeling this pressure to do things for other people. Now that I know that no matter what I do, I'm never going to rise above my non-religious status, I don't have to worry about that. Boy, that took a load off.

Honestly, though, I'm kind of getting sick of people assuming that being a godless heathen automatically makes me a terrible person. I think I manage to be a pretty decent human being, despite being crippled by my lack of godliness. I give to charity. I practice the Golden Rule. I love my fellow man. And I really don't think I've broken any more Commandments than your average Fundamentalist Christian. (Not that that is any big claim to fame.) In short, I believe that whether or not you are a good person is hardly determined by your religious background alone. In fact, given that there have been quite a few atrocities committed in the name of one God or another, I think it's fair to say that for some people, religion can have quite a negative effect.

Not that I'm going to go too far in the other direction and say that all religion is bad, of course. We practice more of the "live and let live" philosophy around here. If religion works for you, then you should embrace it, I say. My grandmother, bless her, still prays for me every day. I think she's hoping I'll get to heaven on a loophole. (It had better be a really big loophole.)

I guess I'm just saying that last semester, Snark's Mistress seemed to stumble on a very prevalent attitude that the deterioration of our society's strict adherence to religion is to blame for all of the world's ills. I kind of have a problem with that.

After all, clearly it's all Oscar's fault. Everything else is.


At January 24, 2007 10:50 AM, Blogger Hotass said...

Amen, girl. Amen and testify. :)

At January 24, 2007 10:51 AM, Blogger Hotass said...

Oh, and by the way, you should change your "Welcome to the Zoo" because the cat you hated isn't with us anymore and you haven't even met my new one yet. Although I'm sure you'll hate him, too. ;)


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