Let me start off by saying that I think everyone is entitled to their own opinions, choices, religious beliefs, etc. I don’t want to offend any devoutly religious people, but I do want to talk about religion from the perspective of someone who doesn’t really believe in any of that. I wouldn’t really call myself and atheist, because I accept that we really don’t know what might be true and what might not. I don’t concretely believe that there’s anything out there except space and universe, but I don’t know that there’s not either.
What I’m saying is that I don’t have faith in any one thing. I wasn’t raised religious, although my mother was raised Catholic. So it’s hard for me to understand that faith in others, whether it’s faith that there’s something or faith that there’s nothing. And it’s even harder to listen to people talk about their religions.
Don’t get me wrong, I think religion is really interesting from a historical point of view. But to hear people talk about it in terms of their beliefs makes me uncomfortable. This is mostly because hearing about any strong feelings like that being expressed makes me a bit uncomfortable. But it’s especially bad with religion.
I don’t really talk about my beliefs, or lack thereof, or my opinions much. Mostly because I don’t want to offend anyone with my beliefs or opinions. I also don’t want to debate or argue about things like this. I really feel like everyone is entitled to hold their own beliefs and opinions, and so I don’t want to make anyone else listen to what I believe.
My problem is that a lot of other people won’t give me the same courtesy. Whether they’re legitimately trying to recruit me into their religion (which has really only happened with a couple of otherwise nice Mormons and the Jehovah’s witnesses that come to your door) or just talking casually about their beliefs or their church or whatever, I feel like that is an imposition on me. I really don’t care to hear about God or the bible or church or any of it. Whether it’s just a single offhand mention or a long religion-related story, I just don’t feel comfortable hearing about it.
And I’m not exactly sure why that is. I just always feel like it takes me off guard when someone brings up religion. Especially if it’s someone I didn’t know was religious. I’ll just be having a conversation with someone and they’ll mention something religious, and it just really disconcerts me. I don’t think I show it enough that they realize, so it mostly just derails me, not the whole conversation. But I wonder if it’s because I don’t have anything to share in return. I’m just so suddenly not on common ground with that person anymore that I really just don’t know what to do.
But really, what is there to do? Not a whole lot except nod and smile, and continue on with the conversation. But I mostly just feel like I shouldn’t have to hear about other people’s religions at all. They go to church or whatever their religious service of choice is, and there are plenty of religious groups for people of that mindset to gather together. Just like I probably wouldn’t talk about many of my interests without knowing I was speaking with a like-minded person, I feel like religion is too hot button a topic to just bring it up in everyday conversation. Or most other situations, like politics or healthcare, for that matter. There’s a reason we separated the church and the state, and I feel like so many people have forgotten that. We all have the right to our own beliefs, but in my opinion, that doesn’t include sharing them with other people if they aren’t of like mind.
What do you think? I apologize for such a long post, and anything I might have said that you don’t agree with. But this is just my opinion, and we’re all entitled to our opinions. That being said, I’d like to hear yours.