Hello dear reader(s)! If you are masochistic enough to regularly read this blog-type-thing, you know that my religious views are basically non-existent. In other words, I am not religiously pro-God, or religiously anti-God. I am one of those people who is hated by both sides of the argument because I simply can’t choose. So, while I generally reject labels and belonging to sub-groups within society, I guess you could call me an Agnostic. Why would I put myself in the position to draw the ire of the believers and non-believers alike? Why admit I don’t know something instead of fiercely defending a position I can neither prove nor disprove?
Agnostics face a lot of criticism for their failure to identify in one camp or the other. Basically, we are the bisexuals of the religious world, without regard to our sexuality. Many people don’t like those who sit on the fence. I don’t understand that, because sitting on a fence can be more comfortable than sitting on the ground, unless the fence is barbed wire or wrought-iron or some other uncomfortable surface for sitting. Just look at the way countries who remain neutral in conflicts are viewed. They are more hated than the countries that start the conflicts in the first place. So why would we Agnostics subject ourselves to such disgust? Well…
1. We get to celebrate whatever holiday, however we want to. We don’t need to sit in church on Christmas Eve. We get to look at lights, open presents, feast, be with friends and family, (and in younger, healthier days)…party. We don’t need to remember “The Reason for the Season”. We don’t care if Christmas was originally pretty much a co-opted Pagan celebration. We get to celebrate just because it is winter, the lights look pretty, and hopefully, we will make it through the cold to the Spring.
We get to have fun at Christmas. It isn’t about birth or death or mangers…it is about fun.
We also get Halloween without cares about Satan or evil, or spirits or other bad stuff. Halloween is about giving candy to kids, carving pumpkins, having a scare for good fun, and dressing up.
2. We get to enjoy our Sundays in the way we choose. No getting dressed up for going to church, sitting with a bunch of people who have never read the entire book they claim to live by, sitting in uncomfortable pews listening to someone drone on and on about how these stories should apply to our lives. We also don’t have to get in arguments with the people leaving church about how we think they are living a fairy tale and that science makes them fools. We don’t do that because we just don’t really believe that, or care one way or another. Instead, we get to watch Premier League on television, sleep in, lounge around, and rest. Or whatever else we choose really.
3. We get to try whatever we think will work to make our lives better. If I want caffeine to get my brain going after I wake up. I drink a cup of coffee. If I need a blood transfusion, (or over 200 as the case was), I get them. If I get cancer, I don’t forgo chemotherapy in the belief that God will heal me without it. My morality is based on not hurting others who don’t wish to be hurt. That comes from me, not a book. I don’t give anything up for Lent. All the other rules don’t apply.
4. I get to see the beauty of things without questioning why they are the way they are, or who put them there. If I see a pretty flower, I don’t need to believe it is a gift from God, I can just admire the beauty of the flower. I don’t need to study or hypothesize the reason the colors of the flower are what they are. I don’t need to take a sample of it to a lab in order to test how it reacts to photosynthesis. I just get to look at the pretty flowers. That doesn’t mean I can’t study it or wonder about it, but sometimes it is nice to enjoy it. Not everything has to be questioned or seen as a sign of love from the divine. To us, we get to be present in the moment of beauty.
5. We get to admit that there are things we don’t know. Seriously, don’t you get tired of arguing all the time? The Bible says this, the Koran says this, the Talmud says this, my Physics book says this, the Discovery Channel show Ancient Aliens says this, and so on, and so on… Do you know what? You don’t know. I don’t know. We’ll know when we die…or we won’t. You say you have felt God’s love in your life? Good for you. Do I think you’re delusional? No. How would I know? Could you be? Sure. But I don’t know, and more importantly, I don’t care.
6. And finally, I don’t care. When you go on a diatribe about how stupid Christians are, I get to tune you out. When you go on a diatribe about how stupid Muslims, or Hindus, or Buddhists, or Atheists, or Mormons, or Steven Hawking is…I get to tune you out. Yes, I get tired of the noise, but I don’t listen. It is just noise. Because I know something for certain. I know I don’t know. And I really don’t care. Maybe, I’m not sure. I don’t know.