A Little Bit of Religion is a Good Thing But Don’t Take it Too Seriously?
By Arthur Khachatryan
Every so often I’ll be in conversations with people, and the topic of religion will come up. And though I find the issue to be of great importance and most worthy of discussion, I know better than to speak about it with just anyone. Sadly, most people are neither interested in a discussion nor are they sufficiently prepared to have one; most are interested and equipped with rhetoric for an emotional lecture to rant about their misgivings about religion. An oddity is that most of these people haven’t come to their conclusions through any careful thought or examination, but are merely expressing things that have stricken a nerve with them, things commonly floating around within their circle of friends and influence. In the interest of maintaining a more polite and less confrontation tone against religious believers, some will often resort to a reserved, hands-off brand of tolerance – ‘believe whatever you wish but keep in mind that while a little bit of religion may be a good thing, you should not take it too seriously.’
Typically, under the guise of this sort of tolerance is a reserved contempt for religion and some measure of anger towards those who would espouse religious beliefs. Otherwise, there’d be no reason to squelch discussions about God, nor would anyone have any good reason to worry about people getting too “serious” about religion. Many people see those who insist that God exists and are serious about their convictions, as religious fanatics. I suppose many may front a desperate resistance to avoid becoming “religious” themselves. One wonders what fanaticism has to do with any of it. After all, if something is true, it is true regardless of the level of seriousness of those who believe in its truth. If insistence that what is true is true is fanaticism, then should we not all be fanatical about reality? Why not dig in, get serious, and engage in friendly and respectful dialogue to come to a better understanding of the world?
Many things are great in moderation. But some things are either-or propositions. With this topic as well as many others, there is no good reason to pretend that a gray middle is somehow relevant. If God does not exist and it’s clear as day, then why pretend that religion is significant at all? Why even give it a soft nod and claim that ‘a little bit of religion is a good thing?’
To be fair, there was once a time at which I would have probably agreed with these sentiments…
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