Staff photographer/ contributor
What if I told you that I have a friend who wants you to follow his teaching, believe in him and live by his rules, but you can’t meet him, see him or even listen to him over the phone? My friend only speaks to me. He is shy that way.
He wants you to know that he is all-powerful and infallible: the eternal supreme being. He created the world and he also created you in his image. He said that he loves you and he asks you to love one another.
Believe in him and have faith in his existence and you will be rewarded after death with awesome things that you can’t even imagine or see. He calls it heaven. Heaven is where you live after death for eternity with all your family who follow him.
However, if you choose to ignore his teachings and turn your back on him or question his existence, you will burn in hell where you will suffer and live in pain for all eternity.
The question is, if I told you that story would you believe me? Would you listen to what I have to say on behalf of my friend? Or would think that I’m a crazy person whom you would walk away or even run from?
These are religions and their promises. All of them want you to follow them without a shred of evidence.
God decided to send his message through people (mostly uneducated) living in the deserts somewhere in the Middle East. He gave them some kind of story book and rules to follow, and you should just blindly follow their teaching and fight for God and raise your offspring up in that religion.
Religion promises you that you will be rewarded for being a sheep: a weak minded individual who likes to be part of a group, maybe because misery loves company.
Don’t you think that it would be simpler if God showed himself (or herself) to us and asked us to follow him and his teaching? You would think that this would eliminate our doubts and make it easier to believe in him.
You would think that God, being all-powerful, would have a better and more convincing way to attract followers. Instead God is standing by watching wars unfold and watching people die in disasters without helping. He will also watch you make mistakes such as murdering people or getting addicted to drugs.
But don’t worry: when you hit rock bottom or go to prison, you will find him there. If you choose to become a believer, you will be born again and be cleansed of all your sins.
According to religious books God does not interfere. But apparently he did long ago to punish people who didn’t believe in him by turning them into salt, drowning them in a worldwide flood, or getting the Earth to swallow them with no regards to the innocent, the infants or the unborn babies.
Religion is a false belief that is based on an incorrect interpretation of history and reality. People who believe in God hold on to false beliefs despite clear evidence to the contrary. A person will go to war, desert his family and friends and do wicked thing in the name of religion.
God also stopped appearing to prophets, and stopped making new religions and books. Now he is only relying on his followers to convince you of his teaching, instead of doing the obvious thing and appearing to us. He decided that letting his people do the leg work is more effective than talking to us directly.
It is time to leave your imaginary friends behind and start living your own life; the only life you will ever have. Be good to people around you and treat people they way you want others to treat you. Love one another and be kind to one another not because some invisible being or a book told you so. Do it because it is the best way to behave in society among people.