Religious double standards

SarahBeth Caplin

Walking to class last week, I passed by a display case in the Student Center filled with anti-theistic slogans on T-shirts, bumper stickers, pins and even pictures of what looked like protestors holding up signs saying “There is no God,” “Faith is no reason,” and “Smile! There is no hell!” Other slogans and comics did nothing but make fun of stories and teachings that religious people hold sacred.

I can’t help but imagine the extreme controversy that would take place if it were the other way around. What if that display case had been filled with stickers and pins with Bible verses on them that proclaimed Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven? The response would be overwhelming. Feelings would be hurt and cries of intolerance would be heard.

There have been many books published recently (which were also on display) by anti-theistic spokesmen such as Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens who claim it’s insane to believe in God in an age when science and reason can explain the universe. In his documentary “Religulous,” Bill Maher paints religious leaders as dangerous and mocks their belief in creation and the resurrection. If religious people are labeled as intolerant for holding tightly to the beliefs of the Bible, the non-believers who ridicule them and belittle their intelligence are no better. How is that making this world a better place?

As a Christian, I understand that not everyone shares my beliefs. I don’t force my views on other people, but I will boldly speak up if someone tells me that I somehow lack the ability to be rational and think for myself just because I am a believer. It is no better than telling non-believers that there is no way for them to have morals, or that their lives have no purpose without religion. It’s understandable that many people have a beef with religion and/or religious people, but blatantly making fun of them is flat out wrong.

Religion is not to blame for the destruction of society: the innate human lust for power and authority is. Conflict will not disappear even if religion does because human beings will constantly find something to fight about and discriminate against. There will never be peace on this planet by insulting the other teams. A little respect goes a long way.

SarahBeth Caplin is a senior English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].