Making Religion Accountable

I just read this on the status update of Seth Andrews, host of The Thinking Atheist Radio Podcast and I thought it was worth reblogging (with his permission, of course):

I get these kind of messages from theists quite often:

Now lets just say for a moment you are right.THERE IS NO GOD. This world somehow created itself ,there is no meaning to this life,we are born,shuffle around for a few years and then cease to exist. Fair enough,good luck to you if you really believe that. BUT.If you believe all of us Christians and believers of God in other faiths are delusional why not be happy for us that we have found a delusion that makes us happyand more caring and gives us meaning.

And again, my response:

The world didn’t create itself, but was instead the result of a singularity 13.7 billion years ago, its cause not yet known, but also not lending itself to the Magic Man in the Sky theories. In this regard, gods are no better explanations than fairies and pixie dust.

We aren’t preaching as much as responding. Religion, by design, ripples outward. It has a Great Commission to “go ye into all the world and preach.” It indoctrinates children, often with a fear of Hell. It infects political systems. It contaminates science books with pseudoscience. It posits false history. And in the Age of Information, it is crumbling as a reputable source for facts, purpose and morality.

If religion wasn’t on the offense, pounding on our doors and seeking to make converts worldwide, if it only stayed blissfully and innocuously inside the happy-clappy hearts of the believers, the need for a response wouldn’t be so great.

Photo Credit: Simone Lovati via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Simone Lovati via Compfight cc

But religion doesn’t stay locked up. It not only seeks to spread, but it also claims the high ground, spewing nonsense from a mountain of superstition. It must be addressed, countered and ultimately run through the gauntlet of science, reason and the evidence.

“Happy” is certainly something we should all strive for. But “Happy” isn’t our measuring stick for determining truth. We’d rather know an uncomfortable fact than embrace a happy falsehood. And in our lives of evidence-based discovery, we have plenty of joy, purpose, meaning and love.

Face it. Religion is simply upset because, finally, somebody’s holding up a hand of skepticism about its wild claims and requiring the pastors, preachers and pundits to substantiate those claims. This doesn’t make religion a victim. It makes religion accountable.

And it’s about time.

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