Imagine no religion. It's not easy even if you try

As so often happens during free-flowing conversation with me, I got into a somewhat intense chat yesterday with a few friends and co-workers..Typically, my 'devil's advocate' style of arguing enrages some who don't quite understand I am always attempting to trick them into disagreeing with their own point of view..

The topic at hand yesterday was actually something that reared its ugly head from my colloquial area. A gay couple was denied a cake from a popular bakery in Schuylkill Haven, PA.. the CAKE PROS was actually a business my wife and I entertained in 2007 when we got married, but we found a better deal.. Now, in the modern age of quick news online, their name is being besmirched throughout the nation due to their 'Christian' moral of denying same sex couples baked goods..

And this is where we are in the world..

There is something amazing to me about what wars Christians choose to fight and what banners of zeal they decide to wear on their sleeves..

For a little bit of full disclosure, I was born and raised Catholic. I don't regret it, as it actually gave me a sound foundation in grade school and let me fight religious professors in high school with knowledge.. But as any Catholic does after years of education, I grew doubtful in my 20s and now, in my 30s, completely and utterly confused as to the purpose of life and whether, big question time, a personal God even exists to begin with.. maybe I'm not in the Stephen Hawking camp yet, but more in the Michio Kaku corner: that a personal god is illogical but a god of order is more true. Math always seems to add up. Electricity makes sense.. perhaps the God I choose to try to understand is a God of those two subject matters.. Or maybe the real God will be wagging his finger at me on a high throne when my demise occurs, as my lifelong doubting Thomas type mindset never seemed to go away..

But that is me.. Confused and pondering the meaning of all of it.. not a believer or disbeliever.. just someone searching for answers. Clues.. Any signs that aren't just by chance mistakes on the grand scale of life..

While it seems I am digressing, I'm not. I am attempting to paint a somewhat vivid picture of my mindset vs others..

Back to cakes..
Yesterday, there was one particular hard core Christian, whom I know and love and think is a great person, that expressed a sentiment that the Cake Pros thought process is not abhorrent but instead quite fine. I posed the question: If the pastor of the church you go to suddenly says he will allow gay marriages in her church, will you quit? The question caused her to become flustered.. she was torn. On one hand, as a literal believer in the Bible and someone who endorses the 6000 year (flawed) theory of the age of the planet, she is right at home in the church she attends. The Bible is an historic account, she says.. It's all true. And even those parts of the excoriation of women or the killing of innocent as a punishment from God? Well they happened but they're glossed over as 'events of a time we don't understand.' While everyone has the right to believe what they do, this person I speak of denies science and disregards any evidence presented through carbon dating or other scientific method as a parallel to truth, and quite possibly of Satan himself attempting to trick the faithful into doubt.. She also thinks Satan has done the same for me--no matter how many times I tell her I am investigating all of life and trying to find answers without simple blind faith.. Nonetheless, the question on whether she would quit this church, one that espouses all of her own convictions, due to gay marriage taking place, was difficult.. Finally, after obvious blood pressure hit her forehead and confusion hit her brain, she answered: "Yes." She would quit..

And this is the battle Christians in the United States are attempting to fight, at this time.. right now.

Gay marriage.
Same sex love..

To make matters worse, during my chat with this person, she said that gay people still have a choice whether they want to sin or not.. So I asked her back: "Why did you choose to be straight?" That question irritated her to high heaven, much more than I expected it to..
There were no answers..Instead the conversation ended quickly and we agreed to disagree..

I find the entire premise of fighting over gay marriage to be contrary to any common sense..
I am 33, and I think I am apart of a generation that began not caring. I grew up with the 'not that there's anything wrong with that' joke from Seinfeld.. Characters on television programs were quietly incorporating same sex love long before adults noticed. While my high school years still were filled with gay hate in some circles, the rest of us knew that fawning the most hate were probably simply hating their own impulses anyway..
Things have changed. More and more states are going to allow gay marriage.

But hard core religious believers will still pump up their iron of anger and quote scripture to condemn those in love...All the while ignoring most of anything important actually happening on this planet..

There is a great divide of common sense in Christian quarters, in my thought..

In Iraq, ISIS, or IS, is busy slaughtering Christians in big numbers.. sure, fellow Muslims who believe in a slightly different timeline are getting cruel punishments, too, but the big target seems to be the infidels. Men, women anad children--kids--are being sliced in half .. Beheaded.. pressed.. stoned.. They are being deprived of food and water and forced to perish in horrible and long drawn out deaths.. They are being burned. Buried alive. Tortured. And some families are being forced to throw their own children off of cliffs to kill them --a better option when compared to the inevitable treatment when ISIS comes to town..

But Christians here? Worried about gay marriage..

There is something very dangerous about religion--something that we as a civilization should have dealt with long ago..

The logic escapes me, as well.. While this is not an endorsement of atheism--I am not that but instead searching for answers as mentioned prior--but perhaps the line from John Lennon's song IMAGINE about thinking of a planet that had no religion is in order.. If there's no religion, no belief system to divide us, perhaps we will become a united people ready to achieve our destiny: Inhabiting the stars and populating our galaxy with life.. Maybe we will not be cutting children in half because Mohammed said so. And perhaps the Christian crusades in which the same behavior occurred would not have taken place, either..

Maybe the light of life that is in every child's eyes will not be indoctrinated by hate disguised and love, or judgement pretending to be discernment.


If there was no religion, perhaps we would start getting closer to actually finding who or what created us.. Maybe without ancient texts to get in the way, we would be able to scientifically trace back the origins of man and find the missing link.. Hell, maybe we'd even find out the grays did make us as a science experiment but that they are confused we have souls..

I look at my own son before bed each night. He sleeps in peace, most times and sugar-depending.. He is inquisitive about what his world, so far, is.. But I still weep for those children who don't have have a peaceful sleep.. Those awakened by bombs overhead or the cries of suffering mothers at the hands of hateful and dreadful human beings hellbent on opening the gates of Hades on this planet. I contemplate the mothers of the children of the disappeared.. I loathe those who profess faith while driving BMWs to their giant Sunday services in convention centers.. I disdain religions that set rules contrary to human emotion.. And I get infuriated when people quote God to justify their heartless and ungodly acts.

But ain't that Earth?
The truth will set us free.. what if that truth is that all religions are frauds and that the issues we have been told are important are nothing more than divisive ways to control population? I think that's exactly what religion so often is..

Pope Francis has lots of impromptu photo ops. But there's always a photographer at the ready, isn't there?

Is anything real? Is nothing real?
Gay marriage is real to some.
The world is real to others--especially those suffering in it..

The quicker we move on from old antiquated belief systems the better..
There's a world of trouble out there. It's time to move on from the world.

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