I want to say religion is two faced… but why limit it to two? Well, because I want to talk about two of them.
There’s a public and a private face to religion. I sensed this early in my decision to become an atheist, because what I heard from the outside was different than what was being said inside.
The public face is soft and inviting. For simplicity, I’ll just use Christianity as an example. To outsiders, Christians will say things like, “Everyone is a sinner,” or “Jesus isn’t asking you to be perfect.” You know, reasonable stuff.
But once you’re inside, it’s a different story.
It’s so strange. To lure you in, they say that “God loves you just the way you are,” but as soon as you’re a member… God needs you to make some changes.
The private face even leaks out a bit into the public. These instances constitute some of the most annoying aspects of religion. It’s one thing for religion to demand its followers to change, but it’s a whole other can of bullshit when a religion tells all of society they must act a certain way. This happens all the time, and it’s not only the cause of atheist outrage (not to mention the outrage of anyone part of another, unfavored religion), it’s unconstitutional and morally repugnant.
It’s quite a game being played. You have religious people putting on their public face, trying their best to hide what religion really is: an ultra-judgmental club. That’s all religion is, if you boil it down to its constituent parts. It’s like a fraternity or sorority. It’s like a private golf course or a secret society.
Meanwhile, something else is going on within a religion, regardless of what any given individual religious person believes. The larger whole is working to shame and guilt each member into falling in line, while simultaneously making the lives of societal minorities as miserable as possible.
That’s just the truth. No matter what religious organization you join up with, there’s some branch of it making the world a worse place. There’s no religious organization in the world that I would give one penny to, ever, for any reason. I won’t even monetarily support organizations tied to religious causes (like the Salvation Army or the Boy Scouts), regardless of what good they might do, because their social activism against equality for all people is atrocious.
When you get right down to it, religious followers are essentially just low-level salesmen giving you a sales pitch. They just want you to sign on the dotted line. Once you’re in, you’re not subject to what they told you in order to get you to join, you’re subject to what the corporate heads say, and they don’t care what you were told. They get their orders from God, and what they say goes.
And all I can say is… no thanks, I wasn’t looking to buy. I was just window shopping.