This is going to be a little bit of a rant, so if you’re not in the mood to read one, stop reading now.
I respect people who follow a religion. I respect people who don’t follow a religion too. Because people are people and religion is a personal thing. What I don’t quite understand is when people respect people who subscribe to a religion a little less. I don’t understand what people mean when they wonder if “people of science” can in fact believe in a God.
Yeah, it’s not trendy to be religious. It’s not cool if you go to church every Sunday, to your local shul, or to a mosque five times a day. You’re not part of the “in” crowd because you don’t drink/have sex/go to clubs on a nightly basis.
But you know what’s bizarre? That it’s still OK to knock on wood when you say something that you’d rather not come true. That people actually don’t open umbrellas indoors. That there is a 27 club. That people throw pennies into basically every public pool of water they see and make a wish.
It makes one wonder why it’s the church and mosque-goers who are considered crazy. Because they believe in “a book written thirty-five hundred years ago”? OK. Well. Tons of people (including atheists/agnostics) throw pennies in wells and wish for things. Because that’s supported by hard facts.
Maybe, just maybe, human beings just believe in things. And in the absence of religion it’s something else. Their gut, science, personal theories, astronomy, wishing wells, aliens, ghosts, their family, cars that fly, wizards, werewolves, the potential of their business idea, the force, toys that talk*. And… that’s OK. Because a personal belief is just that. Your version of what you believe to be true. And it can forever change and evolve and change some more and grow with you. And that’s OK too.
The doghouse diaries did a great comic on this that illustrates my point rather well.
*I’m not suggesting that these are mutually exclusive things to believe in
tl;dr: I feel like I say this a lot, but there’s really only one rule: don’t be dick.