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I am an atheist.
Throughout my childhood I went to Christian schools, from kindergarten to middle school to secondary school. I had been to Sunday services, Bible readings, prayed at assemblies almost every morning—yet, it didn't convince me.
And I know exactly why.
It's a personal choice—it doesn't give you the right to judge others.
A while ago I shared a Facebook post from the BBC, reporting that new research suggests Islam will be the world's largest religion by 2070. It was a short animated film, neutral, non-biased, simply stating facts—exactly what I would expect from a world renowned news agency. I shared the post not because I'm supporting Islam, it's because I found the facts interesting.
Not long later, a friend—a Christian—left a comment: "Whatever they say no way I change my religion. Me and my family will always be Christians."
Ermm, excuse me?
Firstly, I don't think the BBC was telling anyone to do anything with that film—it's news reporting.
Secondly, you can remain a Christian all you want but it doesn't really concern you what other people believe in. You don't see vegetarians going around shaming meat-eaters—it's a personal choice. And frankly, everyone has the right, within legal reasons, to do whatever they damn please. So who are you to judge someone based on just their religion?
What happened to being kind, honest and accepting?
Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against religions—Christianity, Catholicism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism... I respect them all. Most religions that exist today are based on good teachings, and I agree with these wisdom—I absolutely agree that people should be kind, be honest, be accepting, and not discriminate others.
But when I look around and really listen to these so-called "religious church-goers," I can't help but wonder if they're really practising their beliefs. This friend, for example, what happened to "God loves us all and forgives all sinners"? How can you call yourself a Christian when you yourself deviate from these teachings?
Bravo to those who stand up for themselves.
My mum's brother and his wife are Christians, too. Their son, my cousin, believes in the idea but never practises Christianity religiously. He doesn't go to church, and hasn't read the Bible cover to cover. A few years ago he met his then-girlfriend, now-wife, and she is an atheist just like I am. They were happy together so decided to get married. When my aunt found out, she asked the girl out for dinner, just the two of them. My aunt sat her down and said: "Do you really love my son? And if you do, please consider becoming a Christian. Let's not waste each other's time."
When I heard about this incident my cousin was already sending out wedding invitations. His wife didn't convert to Christianity and I'm not sure what happened since then, but obviously she and my cousin stood up for their relationship and decided enough was enough—and I'm proud of them!
"For God shows no partiality."
These stories are just two of many I have encountered in my life, where religious people—who are meant to be loving, caring, and kind—judge and discriminate others. I'm sure the majority of them possess these positive qualities, but there are also enough of them who don't—and these people are the people who reinforce my choice to remain an atheist.
Once I had collected my thoughts and decided I had to respond to this ignorant Facebook comment, I went on to Google and searched for Bible quotes about acceptance.
I copied and pasted the words then pressed "Enter," and they read:
"Romans 2:11 - For God shows no partiality."
Have a comment? Find me on Twitter @georgie_c68