Many of you reading this probably could care less because you don't understand the background. Let me quickly sum it up. Every Sunday, since I can remember, we woke up at 6-630am. Dad was always up before everyone, presumably with Mom, while my brother and I lay in bed praying (ironic isn't it?) that our parents accidentally slept in. This was important because we would never go to church after the 7am mass because that was filled with singing and music which added an additional 45 or so minutes to the mass.
Every Christmas, we'd wake up, see our gifts, open some of them, only to have to shuffle off to church first. Of course, the whole time, we were expected to sit quiety and listen to somebody read from a book... Amazingly, every Saturday we went to CCD (learn how to be catholic classes), even though to this day I don't know what CCD actually stands for. I made my sacrements: Baptism, Eucharist, Reconciliation, and I am married, first and only time, although it was not performed in a church. This whole time, the world, I thought, made sense: You do good and good stuff will happen. Well, that last part is right, but for a whole mess of other reasons.
Anyway, this is all fine, except it was a lie. To be clear, these events occurred, but the entire thing isn't real. I did things for reasons that don't exist. I believe things were happening for the wrong reasons. Yes, I turned out okay, morally sound and such, but not under the right pretenses, and that has been weighing on me...
Let me provide a simple example of how this is a bad thing. Let us take Santa Clause. A harmless fellow that only wants to provide children with happiness. Of course, SC isn't real. Parents, however, are able to capitalize on this "magic man" for their advantage, or so it would seem. Throughout the year, kids are threatened with the "ultimate" threat of a lump of coal (even though it never happens). During this time, parents are sneaking around, buying jingle bells, taking bites of cookies and the like, all for that one magical moment on Christmas Day (err, after church of course!)... This all sounds good, until the day we have to break the big news to the kids, to explain to them that SC is a lie and all those threats were empty... oh and by the way, Mom and Dad paid for all those items you got, so now that you know, the budget for Xmas is going to be a little smaller... SMASH...world = officially broken.
Here is a better idea, we teach the children that we as parents, love our kids so much that each year they get to go a little crazy and wish for all sorts of things. Mom and Dad (or Mom and Mom or Dad and Dad, whatever works) work extra hard, long hours, double shifts, 2, maybe 3 jobs to see your faces glow for even that short period of time. During that whole time, the kids aren't thanking SC, they aren't praising God, they are looking at their parents and saying "I gots me some kick ass parents". Additionally, there is no lieing. There is also a very long list of things that are no longer an issue.
Some people will argue that if you take things away, then "magic" will disappear, and I beg to differ. Magic isn't real, so it can't disappear. Imaginations will never go away, we can still read books to our kids and make up fantastical stories and play games and watch movies, we just don't need to lie about what is real and what isn't. We are no longer feeble minded creatures, living in caves, scared of what the "gods might do" if we don't sacrifice lambs and virgins. We know that gods or God, or whatever, doesn't control the weather, doesn't dictate life and death, doesn't make the rules of the universe as it sees fit, yet, for some reason we are stuck clinging to this lie.
Alright, enough of the example, so what does this have to do with religion? Well, it's the same thing, the exact...same...thing. Religion was coined out of fear. We didn't know what happened when lightning lit up the skies, when it wouldn't rain for weeks and crops would die, why innocent children got sick and died, so we did what we could, we made up a reason. This worked well, of course, we have come a long way, and we couldn't have done it without the guidance of religion in our earliest years as a species. However, times are different, things have changed. The concept of religion has been perversed into a capitalistic model of wealth and power. They have been specifically designed to target our inner most fears of death and the unknown to force us to keep coming back.
I am going to say this clearly, there MAY be a God. I don't know if there is or isn't. I can tell you one thing though, if it does exist, it doesn't give a damn if we give it 10% of our paycheck, sacrifice virgins, if our children are circumcised or not, pray for an hour a day, etc... Why would a God care about any of this? If God would be considered almighty and powerful, do our feeble materialistic donations mean a damn? Of course not. Additionally, in order for a God to be almighty and infinite, I have serious doubt that it contains any related Human emotions, like Love and Spite, or Jealousy. Heck, if these so called Gods exist why do they need us to fight their battles of "good and evil", if it's so powerful why can't it just win? This can go on and on and on forever, but the final story is anything we have now relating to some ultimate God is nonsense. One may exists for the purpose of the Improbability factor, but we certainly no nothing about it.
So, on this day, I am completely coming out. I was blind, but now I see, and the future has never been brighter. I am finally free of the bonds and the fears of a non-existent deity that has plagued my mind for so many years.