Religion is the Scourge of the Earth


I remember, as a child of perhaps eight, nine or 10, walking past my Sunday School on a weekday and wondering if God really was watching my every movement. I don’t know whether it was the proximity of the building that put the idea into my mind, or whether I was on a mission of mischief and somewhat nervous, but I still recall that moment as if it were yesterday.

Regardless, I obviously had doubts at that early age, despite the fact that later I became a choirboy attending church services twice every Sunday, with Sunday School sandwiched in between.

I know my parents believed and insisted on grace before meals, though they were never ostentatious about it. Of one thing I’m sure; I never saw either one sit down and seriously study the Bible or any other religious book that might have provoked serious questions. They were believers just like their parents before them, and their grandparents before them, blindly following tradition without question. If we go back far enough, perhaps not too many generations ago, we come to a period in history when people believed or they were burned at the stake. The vision of meeting death that way was a powerful motivator to those who had thoughts of straying.

Today, happily, apostasy is not such a terrible sin, at least in the West.

I believe that most atheists were at one time believers of sorts but later came to their senses, just as everyone eventually stops believing in Santa Claus.

So, as a youth, my doubts grew and grew until religion no longer played even the remotest part in my life, though I rarely if ever raised the subject.

Then came an event that propelled me out of the closet like a shell from a cannon. On December 26, 2004, an earthquake occurred off the southwestern coast of Sumatra, causing a horrendous tsunami that killed almost a quarter of a million people in various coastal areas of the Indian Ocean, even as far as the east coast of Africa.

“How can religious people explain something like this?,” shouted the headline of one English newspaper. God is love?

I had been studying the Bible for several years, not for any spiritual uplift, but for the purpose of knowing my subject should any debate arise. I read the entire book, taking over a year, during which time I was horrified by the stories in the Old Testament. It is a book of blood-letting, murder, killing, kidnapping, maiming, execution, massacring and genocide, most of which was condoned or ordered or perpetrated by the biblical god, the one we were taught to love. I was never taught such tales in Sunday School.

It soon became patently clear in my mind that I had been introduced throughout my childhood solely to the niceties of the Bible, beautiful verses that had been carefully selected to lull anyone into a false sense of security. I had been tricked, not by my teachers, who, I am sure, had no such intent, but by their own ignorance. God is love? God is a monster, I thought!

Thus began a sea change in my life, away from the horrors of Christianity, only to learn that other religions were just as bad, some much worse, like Islam, which is another horror story of gigantic proportions. The story of the beginnings of Mormonism, for example, is so childish that it beggars belief anyone could be taken in, but we tend to forget the mindset of people in the early 1800s.

Obviously, my whole take on religion took an even steeper nosedive, when it suddenly struck me –  All religions are simply cults!

Religion – all religions – are based on myths, legends and superstitions created millenniums ago before even the concept of Judaism. And they prey on one’s fear, especially the fear of death!

Even today, much of Christianity is based on pagan beliefs and rituals, and there are a lot of gullible people out there just waiting to be tricked, all because of the promise of a reward – everlasting life!

Religion is the scourge of the Earth!

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