Monday, March 4, 2013

Religion Is Like a Penis

I am sure most of you have seen or heard this before, but it is worth considering again not only because it is a great quotation to have handy to use against those who seek to proselytize but because of a little irony implicit in its words.

First, the quotation:

Religion is like a penis.
It's fine to have one.
It's fine to be proud of it.
But, please don't whip it out in public and start waving it around.
And PLEASE don't try to shove it down my children's throats.
--Author unknown

Some people like to change the last line to say "anyone's throat" rather than "my children's throats", but I left it this way to help make a point.

This quotation is a summation of the "live and let live" viewpoint so often espoused by many believers and non-believers alike.  As I have pointed out, this sort of philosophy has to be a two way street.  Both sides have to agree to live and let live and then actually follow through on their agreement.  Otherwise, the notion is empty words at best, a complete capitulation by one side at worst.  Therein lies the problem.

The trouble is that religious people don't seem to be capable of living up to the "live and let live" sentiment.  Partly, this is because many religions actually require their members to actively recruit new members.  It is also partly because most religious people truly believe that there are dire consequences awaiting anyone who does not belong to their particular church.  They consequently feel it incumbent on them to try to "save" the rest of us.

More ominous than the concerted effort to "save our souls", however, is the situation where religious people believe that the rules of their religion are the only "correct" rules and trump anything that contradicts them, such as the law.  Such people will try to argue that we should change the law to reflect their beliefs and, when that doesn't work, will work behind the scenes to effectuate changes in society that effectively nullify the law.

This sort of behavior clearly does not constitute allowing others to lead their lives as they see fit.  Instead, it is a dishonest, and sometimes criminal, effort to interfere in the lives of others.

I would like to postulate that it is absurd to expect people to ever live up to the "live and let live" standard of religious freedom if they won't stop their priests and preachers from literally shoving their penises down the throats of the children in the congregation.

This is not only something to keep in mind, it is also something to point out to fellow non-believers who chastise you for being critical of religion.  The "live and let live" ideal is totally foreign to many, if not most, religious people.

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