I’M GLAD I’M AN ATHEIST
This is the reason I’m an atheist.
Religious protests in Sydney at the weekend. Image via The Daily Telegraph.
The events that led to Saturday’s scenes can be summed up in one sentence:
My imaginary friend is better than yours.
The film Innocence of Muslims was made by Christian fundamentalists “to encourage Muslims to question their faith”, according to script consultant and professional hate monger Steve Klein. One of the backers is Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who threatened to mark the anniversary of 9/11 by burning the Koran. It was promoted in Egypt by extremist Coptic Christians, persecuted by the Muslim majority.
There’s no doubt the trailer for the movie is offensive. (As one of my friends wrote on Facebook, “It is a crime against art that is highly offensive to anyone who loves film. The filmmakers should indeed be beheaded”.) Mohammed is depicted as a murderous thug, rapist and paedophile, who blackmails people into converting to Islam.
But how can any rational person use violence to defend someone who preached peace?
Fight in the Way of God against those who fight you, but do not go beyond the limits. God does not love those who go beyond the limits. [Quran 2:190]
The answer is in the word “rational”. No major religious text espouses extreme violence, but faithful followers cherry pick phrases to justify their actions. The Spanish Inquisition and the Crusade; the torching of Indian Muslims by Hindus; the Troubles in Ireland: Religion has forever been used as an excuse for man’s inhumanity to man.
The term ‘peaceful religion’ is an oxymoron.
This morning, the headline of Greg Sheridan’s piece in The Australian read, “The unacceptable face of multiculturalism”. A more accurate interpretation would replace the word “multiculturalism” with “religion”.
Angry youths need less religion and more work, Joan Smith writes in The Independent, and indeed, eight-year-old Ruqaya, who spoke to the Sydney chapter of Hizb ut-Tahrir about her love of jihad, needs an education outside an Islamic school.
We must fight – with words not fists – to keep Australia secular.
I wrote in February about my opposition to scripture classes and chaplains in public schools. The Gillard government boosted funding to the chaplaincy program, initiated by John Howard, to win the Christian vote.
In a clear breach of the ‘principal of state neutrality’, known as the separation of church and state, taxpayers are funding evangelicals to preach creationism to our kids.
My seven-year-old son insists God created the earth, no matter how many times I show him pictures of monkeys.
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