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Dat Nick

Organized Religion and why I want to do something about it

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Hi. Prepare for a wall of text.

I was talking to a really close friend of mine last night about the Kony thing, and how the Invisible Children organization is probably a lot more self-centered than it should be... it left me with no one to really support on this, and I was really confused on how to help... I didn't just want to sit and do nothing but... I really didn't know what I should do. Just hope? Hope doesn't really help in the end. And that realization is what prompted me to make this topic... about another serious issue that I truly want to do something about, but... I don't even know if anything CAN be done about it. Read my post, tell you what you think.

So, we're just gonna get this out of the way RIGHT now. I have nothing against the concept of religion in and of itself. You folks have something you believe in? Good for you. I believe there's something up there myself: After all, I met someone who changed my life for the better, and I don't believe it was coincidental. What I don't like is that this mindset isn't so much taught to people... it's forced onto them. And that's why I despise organized religion. Because it isolates people. It makes them feel different. It makes them feel hated. All because they don't believe what others believe. And that's a horrible thing.

I'd like to talk about this a bit more... but first, I want to talk about my best friend. The most important person in the world to me. Very same friend I was speaking about the Kony issue with, actually, and that probably has a big part in why I'm posting this now. Seems like a drastic subject change... bear with me, please. Relevance will enter this.

I met someone last May, on another site. He seemed pretty cool. I wanted to get to know him better. Spent quite a bit of time talking to him on the main chat of said site. One day I quit the chat for a bit to focus on other stuff, but I did like him and didn't want to lose touch with him... so we exchanged Skype IDs and we talked there for a bit. We got pretty close over time... we disagreed about tons of stuff but at the same time had lots of common interests. We talked to each other on a daily basis for hours and hours on end, and still do today. We got on so well he even got me something on Steam for my birthday. Course he was the generous type that used to give EVERYONE Steam gifts on their birthdays but...

One day, my sister was kind of stressing me out. She wanted money for alcohol. She was in a sorority at the time... a sorority that treated her like shit. Will cover that in a bit. So anyway she wanted money for some pledge party. Money I could barely spare, but I have a hard time saying no to her. I blurted this out while we were talking one day... this will become relevant.

Soon after this, my sister was arrested for petty larceny. The sorority made her do it. I was outraged. My sister can be a little rude at times, but she's NOT a god damn criminal. I was infuriated at the people who drove her to this. And at the same time... I was scared. She's not a bad person. She doesn't deserve to be in jail.

I couldn't sleep that night. I did try, but... the nightmares wouldn't stop. And I had already told him the gist of things so... I told him she was arrested and why. It was obviously connected to the liquor after all. He calmed me down... I could sleep again. You see, my friend has a gift... a gift for knowing people. How they work. How to make them feel better in bad moods... I admit, it's a gift I'm very envious of. I WISH I knew people better. I don't... at all.

Anyway... I would be using this gift a lot. There were a lot of issues left unresolved in my head that I never truly accepted weren't my fault... things about myself that I always felt made me different. And strange. Personal issues as well... I gave away all of my spare money. I'm still feeling the damage today. He was the only one I felt comfortable talking to about all this. He was the only one who helped... I had talked to lots of people about one particular issue before. And it never helped. It never made a difference. He was the only one that made me think that it may not have been my fault... that's how I knew he was special.

Around Christmas time... I fell into a very bad rut. My parents were divorced this year. It would be my first Christmas with a split family. It was just my mom and my sister for Thanksgiving. I was so afraid Christmas would be just as lonely. I started to reflect on a lot of things... how I had pretty much fucked up my life when I was younger. I got put into a special ed program when I was younger because I was a little shit and I let my autism get the better of me. It's very humiliating... to walk around with that label. Everybody thinks you're different. So much different than everybody else. When you're not... you're just as good as them. Better perhaps. But nobody gives you the chance. All because of a mental condition that only controls you as much as you let it. I live with this goddamn disorder. I know how much it affects you. But that wasn't just it. Because of this, I didn't really make any friends because I was so isolated from everybody else. What I did about it was I spent my free time being a complete jerkwad on the internet. Particularly with you guys. It made me realize that everything I do has been a screw up. That even if I could accept that all of my family holidays from here on out would be with a split one... what difference would it make? I'd still die at the end of the day. I'd feel better about myself just to get punched in the face and die. Why bother fighting? Why delay the inevitable? I wasn't at the stage of considering suicide... but I was running out of reasons not to. I went to him about all of this... I needed more reasons to live. We talked, and I realized I had a very big one... him. I loved talking to him. I loved playing games and watching stuff with him. He was what life was worth fighting for, to me... even though we live many states away, I didn't feel alone with him with me.

Then... something happened. I got out of my rut... but he began falling into one.

He's a high school student. Yeah, I was shocked as hell when he told me, too. Always assumed he was at least my age, likely older... he didn't really tell me much about his personal life for a while. But well... eventually he had to. And here's where relevance enters the conversation. About religion. And how it isolates people.

You see, he's an athiest. In Missisippi. Southern state. Yeah. It's difficult to find people with a relation to that in that area... not even his own family knows, because his mom is a religious fanatic. Called his sister a heathen on her wedding day... yeah. It translates to school too... he doesn't have any real friends there, so he's told me. Because they all love their god and haaaate their athiests. They were reading a story in literature one day, and one character mentioned he was an athiest in the story... and he tells me you could feel the negative aura in the room, how they all hated that story all of a sudden for the sheer mention of the word. And it did make me sick, hearing that... there was someone else close to him over the internet, who he was not in contact with at the time due to real life issues with that person... so I was the only one he really had to talk to about all of this for most days. It caught me completely off-guard that someone who had done so much for me had so many personal issues that were impossible to resolve due to the harsh and unaccepting environment... I still tried. I loved him like family, and I did try to make him feel like he wasn't alone, that I was always going to be there for him even if nobody else was, that I would accept him for his beliefs, even if they did conflict with mine... but it wasn't enough.

One night, it all got to him... his cat was diagnosed with an incurable disease, school was getting bad, and there was just nobody there for him in real life, who he could be his real self with... and he completely flipped out. I... can't even bring myself to tell EVERYTHING that happened with him that night. But it was all very shocking, very disturbing... I was crying my eyes out nearly the entire time, to watch this happen to someone who I loved so much. I can give you a brief excerpt, to show you how bad it was...

10:08:42 PM EST Victor Edgeworth Didn't you tell me something once?

10:08:45 PM EST A Block of Writers LOOK AT ME

10:08:45 PM EST A Block of Writers YOUR PAIN FEELS SO GOOD

10:08:48 PM EST A Block of Writers CRY SOME MORE

10:08:53 PM EST Victor Edgeworth That our worst moments do not define us?

10:08:56 PM EST A Block of Writers RIGHT NOW

10:09:01 PM EST A Block of Writers I DON'T GIVE A ****

10:09:15 PM EST A Block of Writers WELL DID YOU EVER CONSIDER SOMETHING?

10:09:26 PM EST A Block of Writers MAYBE IM A LYING ****TARD BEAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

10:09:34 PM EST Victor Edgeworth You're not...

10:09:41 PM EST Victor Edgeworth That isn't possible.

10:09:52 PM EST Victor Edgeworth You could have pushed me while i was down.

10:09:54 PM EST A Block of Writers REALLY

10:09:55 PM EST A Block of Writers LET ME PROVE IT TO YOU

10:10:00 PM EST A Block of Writers I SAID IN THE PAST

10:10:03 PM EST Victor Edgeworth If you really hated me so.

10:10:05 PM EST A Block of Writers I CARED ABOUT YOU?

10:10:11 PM EST A Block of Writers LOOK AT ME NOW

10:10:23 PM EST A Block of Writers LOOK AT THE PAIN IM CAUSING YOU

10:10:36 PM EST A Block of Writers IM NOT REGRETTING ONE BIT OF IT EITHER BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

10:10:43 PM EST A Block of Writers YOU WANTED ME TO ACCEPT WHO I AM

10:10:47 PM EST A Block of Writers WELL NOW

10:10:50 PM EST A Block of Writers I FINALLY HAVE

10:10:59 PM EST Victor Edgeworth I don't ******* care what you want me to think.

10:11:01 PM EST Victor Edgeworth This.

10:11:04 PM EST Victor Edgeworth Is.

10:11:04 PM EST Victor Edgeworth Not.

10:11:06 PM EST Victor Edgeworth You.

I sat through the entire tirade, as much as it crushed me to do so... Because I knew none of what he said was true. I knew he still cared about me, I knew he was just hurting too much, I knew it all had to come out, I knew he was damaged... so I watched the entire thing. And I tried to help... obviously nothing reached, but it was my obligation to try the best I possibly could. Eventually he did calm down, though I likely didn't help with that... but that only hurt more to hear.

1:32:08 AM EST me Listen... I don't know or care how much you meant.

1:32:15 AM EST me I meant every single word that I said.

1:32:22 AM EST me I. Don't. Want. To. *******. Lose. You.

1:32:32 AM EST me And if you don't tell her... I just might...

1:32:51 AM EST A Block of Perhaps that only shows that I need to do something 'drastic', to show that you'd be better off without me anyway...

1:32:56 AM EST me ****NO

1:32:58 AM EST me DONT DO THAT

1:33:02 AM EST me God please... don't do that....

1:33:07 AM EST me Your drastic thing can be telling her...

1:34:34 AM EST me Please...

1:34:40 AM EST me I'll NEVER forgive myself.

1:35:02 AM EST me I won't be better without you.

1:35:00 AM EST A Block of And you'd need to learn that it wasn't your fault.

1:35:07 AM EST me I'll be even more broken than I am now.

1:35:12 AM EST me Yes it WOULD be ******* my fault.

1:35:16 AM EST me Because I couldn't help you.

1:35:32 AM EST me You're my best friend.... I understand more than anybody else does....

1:35:31 AM EST A Block of Funny you hate Godot... you're a lot like him.

1:35:37 AM EST me I ******* SHOULD BE ABLE TO HELP YOU.

1:36:46 AM EST A Block of You can't help something that can't help itself...

1:36:50 AM EST A Block of Hope I didn't cause too many sleepless nights tonight...

1:37:06 AM EST me SO PLEASE CHANGE THAT.

1:37:08 AM EST me Just try....

1:37:13 AM EST me You can't not want to try....

1:37:33 AM EST A Block of Is it worth it to try?

1:37:35 AM EST A Block of When I do stuff like this?

1:37:46 AM EST me You TOLD me it was worth it to try.

1:38:36 AM EST A Block of Told YOU, yes...

1:38:39 AM EST A Block of But I never told myself that.

1:38:47 AM EST A Block of Because I never truly believed in that.

1:38:51 AM EST A Block of And now I understand why I didn't.

Before going to bed, he got fired up over something else, said "FUCK YOU, FUCK EVERYTHING, I'M DONE", and logged off.

I didn't get any sleep that night. I spent the entire time staring at the ceiling with tears flooding my eyes. The worst part about the entire experience... I felt it was all my fault. I felt like it was my fault he felt alone. I felt like it was my fault I couldn't make a difference. I felt like I wasn't a good enough friend to live for...

...If the transitioning here is a little off, it's because, well, this is really painful to talk about. I spent a good few minutes trying to regain my composure to continue typing.

He was even more serious about it the next day... wouldn't stop talking about it. How he didn't deserve me to be there after he wanted to hurt me. How I shouldn't be clinging onto him anymore. How not doing it wasn't the right path, just the one I didn't want him to take... I tried. I said every single thing that I possibly could. We talked for a good six or seven hours before I was too physically and emotionally drained to say anything more... and none of it helped. I hated myself for not knowing what to do... I couldn't stand the fact that I couldn't help someone who meant so much to me.

The entire time this was going on, people on the site with the chat I mentioned at the start of this were all trying to comfort me, to say this wasn't my fault, et cetera... and I appreciated the sentiments from each and every one of them, I did, but it only helped so much... I was still completely broken during that time, because I was so afraid of losing him. Nobody could have replaced him... I don't think I could have moved on. He was everything in the world to me and then some. And I still would have blamed myself for it the entire rest of my life if something... did happen.

Thankfully... someone who's better with people talked some sense into him. And it took a while, but eventually, I got this message.

12:44:17 AM EST A Block of Writers And thank you, for giving me reason to stay.

And even though that nightmare was dealt with... I've never truly healed from it. And even though it doesn't hurt as much now, I doubt I ever will. The whole experience does haunt me rather frequently.

Anyway... that's my story about Organized Religion. Why I want to do something about it. Why I don't want anyone to feel that kind of isolation and pain ever again. Why I want everyone to love and accept each other no matter what they think about the subject. Because... I've seen firsthand what intolerance does to people. And it's sick.

I truly want to do something... but is there even anything I can do? Is there any possible measure I could take that would make a difference, no matter how small or insignificant?

Some of you probably think I'm selfish, wanting to do this only just now because I've been hurt personally by it. And I don't really give a damn if you do. I should have helped earlier, but I want to help now.

And some of you probably hate me for coming back here just so I could make you all deal with my bullshit. And hey, I'm fine with that, too. I don't deserve the fast re-acceptance that I got.

But, look... the point is... if any of you know a way that I could possibly do something about the pain and isolation that organized religion causes... please. Tell me. I've seen how horrible this problem is... I don't want anyone to have to experience it again. And I know there probably isn't, but... I just wanted to see if anybody thought anything.

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Hi. Prepare for a wall of text.

I was talking to a really close friend of mine last night about the Kony thing, and how the Invisible Children organization is probably a lot more self-centered than it should be... it left me with no one to really support on this, and I was really confused on how to help... I didn't just want to sit and do nothing but... I really didn't know what I should do. Just hope? Hope doesn't really help in the end. And that realization is what prompted me to make this topic... about another serious issue that I truly want to do something about, but... I don't even know if anything CAN be done about it. Read my post, tell you what you think.

So, we're just gonna get this out of the way RIGHT now. I have nothing against the concept of religion in and of itself. You folks have something you believe in? Good for you. I believe there's something up there myself: After all, I met someone who changed my life for the better, and I don't believe it was coincidental. What I don't like is that this mindset isn't so much taught to people... it's forced onto them. And that's why I despise organized religion. Because it isolates people. It makes them feel different. It makes them feel hated. All because they don't believe what others believe. And that's a horrible thing.

I'd like to talk about this a bit more... but first, I want to talk about my best friend. The most important person in the world to me. Very same friend I was speaking about the Kony issue with, actually, and that probably has a big part in why I'm posting this now. Seems like a drastic subject change... bear with me, please. Relevance will enter this.

I met someone last May, on another site. He seemed pretty cool. I wanted to get to know him better. Spent quite a bit of time talking to him on the main chat of said site. One day I quit the chat for a bit to focus on other stuff, but I did like him and didn't want to lose touch with him... so we exchanged Skype IDs and we talked there for a bit. We got pretty close over time... we disagreed about tons of stuff but at the same time had lots of common interests. We talked to each other on a daily basis for hours and hours on end, and still do today. We got on so well he even got me something on Steam for my birthday. Course he was the generous type that used to give EVERYONE Steam gifts on their birthdays but...

One day, my sister was kind of stressing me out. She wanted money for alcohol. She was in a sorority at the time... a sorority that treated her like shit. Will cover that in a bit. So anyway she wanted money for some pledge party. Money I could barely spare, but I have a hard time saying no to her. I blurted this out while we were talking one day... this will become relevant.

Soon after this, my sister was arrested for petty larceny. The sorority made her do it. I was outraged. My sister can be a little rude at times, but she's NOT a god damn criminal. I was infuriated at the people who drove her to this. And at the same time... I was scared. She's not a bad person. She doesn't deserve to be in jail.

I couldn't sleep that night. I did try, but... the nightmares wouldn't stop. And I had already told him the gist of things so... I told him she was arrested and why. It was obviously connected to the liquor after all. He calmed me down... I could sleep again. You see, my friend has a gift... a gift for knowing people. How they work. How to make them feel better in bad moods... I admit, it's a gift I'm very envious of. I WISH I knew people better. I don't... at all.

Anyway... I would be using this gift a lot. There were a lot of issues left unresolved in my head that I never truly accepted weren't my fault... things about myself that I always felt made me different. And strange. Personal issues as well... I gave away all of my spare money. I'm still feeling the damage today. He was the only one I felt comfortable talking to about all this. He was the only one who helped... I had talked to lots of people about one particular issue before. And it never helped. It never made a difference. He was the only one that made me think that it may not have been my fault... that's how I knew he was special.

Around Christmas time... I fell into a very bad rut. My parents were divorced this year. It would be my first Christmas with a split family. It was just my mom and my sister for Thanksgiving. I was so afraid Christmas would be just as lonely. I started to reflect on a lot of things... how I had pretty much fucked up my life when I was younger. I got put into a special ed program when I was younger because I was a little shit and I let my autism get the better of me. It's very humiliating... to walk around with that label. Everybody thinks you're different. So much different than everybody else. When you're not... you're just as good as them. Better perhaps. But nobody gives you the chance. All because of a mental condition that only controls you as much as you let it. I live with this goddamn disorder. I know how much it affects you. But that wasn't just it. Because of this, I didn't really make any friends because I was so isolated from everybody else. What I did about it was I spent my free time being a complete jerkwad on the internet. Particularly with you guys. It made me realize that everything I do has been a screw up. That even if I could accept that all of my family holidays from here on out would be with a split one... what difference would it make? I'd still die at the end of the day. I'd feel better about myself just to get punched in the face and die. Why bother fighting? Why delay the inevitable? I wasn't at the stage of considering suicide... but I was running out of reasons not to. I went to him about all of this... I needed more reasons to live. We talked, and I realized I had a very big one... him. I loved talking to him. I loved playing games and watching stuff with him. He was what life was worth fighting for, to me... even though we live many states away, I didn't feel alone with him with me.

Then... something happened. I got out of my rut... but he began falling into one.

He's a high school student. Yeah, I was shocked as hell when he told me, too. Always assumed he was at least my age, likely older... he didn't really tell me much about his personal life for a while. But well... eventually he had to. And here's where relevance enters the conversation. About religion. And how it isolates people.

You see, he's an athiest. In Missisippi. Southern state. Yeah. It's difficult to find people with a relation to that in that area... not even his own family knows, because his mom is a religious fanatic. Called his sister a heathen on her wedding day... yeah. It translates to school too... he doesn't have any real friends there, so he's told me. Because they all love their god and haaaate their athiests. They were reading a story in literature one day, and one character mentioned he was an athiest in the story... and he tells me you could feel the negative aura in the room, how they all hated that story all of a sudden for the sheer mention of the word. And it did make me sick, hearing that... there was someone else close to him over the internet, who he was not in contact with at the time due to real life issues with that person... so I was the only one he really had to talk to about all of this for most days. It caught me completely off-guard that someone who had done so much for me had so many personal issues that were impossible to resolve due to the harsh and unaccepting environment... I still tried. I loved him like family, and I did try to make him feel like he wasn't alone, that I was always going to be there for him even if nobody else was, that I would accept him for his beliefs, even if they did conflict with mine... but it wasn't enough.

One night, it all got to him... his cat was diagnosed with an incurable disease, school was getting bad, and there was just nobody there for him in real life, who he could be his real self with... and he completely flipped out. I... can't even bring myself to tell EVERYTHING that happened with him that night. But it was all very shocking, very disturbing... I was crying my eyes out nearly the entire time, to watch this happen to someone who I loved so much. I can give you a brief excerpt, to show you how bad it was...

I sat through the entire tirade, as much as it crushed me to do so... Because I knew none of what he said was true. I knew he still cared about me, I knew he was just hurting too much, I knew it all had to come out, I knew he was damaged... so I watched the entire thing. And I tried to help... obviously nothing reached, but it was my obligation to try the best I possibly could. Eventually he did calm down, though I likely didn't help with that... but that only hurt more to hear.

Before going to bed, he got fired up over something else, said "FUCK YOU, FUCK EVERYTHING, I'M DONE", and logged off.

I didn't get any sleep that night. I spent the entire time staring at the ceiling with tears flooding my eyes. The worst part about the entire experience... I felt it was all my fault. I felt like it was my fault he felt alone. I felt like it was my fault I couldn't make a difference. I felt like I wasn't a good enough friend to live for...

...If the transitioning here is a little off, it's because, well, this is really painful to talk about. I spent a good few minutes trying to regain my composure to continue typing.

He was even more serious about it the next day... wouldn't stop talking about it. How he didn't deserve me to be there after he wanted to hurt me. How I shouldn't be clinging onto him anymore. How not doing it wasn't the right path, just the one I didn't want him to take... I tried. I said every single thing that I possibly could. We talked for a good six or seven hours before I was too physically and emotionally drained to say anything more... and none of it helped. I hated myself for not knowing what to do... I couldn't stand the fact that I couldn't help someone who meant so much to me.

The entire time this was going on, people on the site with the chat I mentioned at the start of this were all trying to comfort me, to say this wasn't my fault, et cetera... and I appreciated the sentiments from each and every one of them, I did, but it only helped so much... I was still completely broken during that time, because I was so afraid of losing him. Nobody could have replaced him... I don't think I could have moved on. He was everything in the world to me and then some. And I still would have blamed myself for it the entire rest of my life if something... did happen.

Thankfully... someone who's better with people talked some sense into him. And it took a while, but eventually, I got this message.

And even though that nightmare was dealt with... I've never truly healed from it. And even though it doesn't hurt as much now, I doubt I ever will. The whole experience does haunt me rather frequently.

Anyway... that's my story about Organized Religion. Why I want to do something about it. Why I don't want anyone to feel that kind of isolation and pain ever again. Why I want everyone to love and accept each other no matter what they think about the subject. Because... I've seen firsthand what intolerance does to people. And it's sick.

I truly want to do something... but is there even anything I can do? Is there any possible measure I could take that would make a difference, no matter how small or insignificant?

Some of you probably think I'm selfish, wanting to do this only just now because I've been hurt personally by it. And I don't really give a damn if you do. I should have helped earlier, but I want to help now.

And some of you probably hate me for coming back here just so I could make you all deal with my bullshit. And hey, I'm fine with that, too. I don't deserve the fast re-acceptance that I got.

But, look... the point is... if any of you know a way that I could possibly do something about the pain and isolation that organized religion causes... please. Tell me. I've seen how horrible this problem is... I don't want anyone to have to experience it again. And I know there probably isn't, but... I just wanted to see if anybody thought anything.

tl;dr

Edited by Serene Flight

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Some of you probably think I'm selfish, wanting to do this only just now because I've been hurt personally by it. And I don't really give a damn if you do. I should have helped earlier, but I want to help now.

Not at all... I think people can never truly understand something unless they've experienced it themselves. Everything will come through experience.

I would love to be able to change this kind of stuff as well, but I honestly think those who are strongly religious are never going to listen to anything that anyone else has to say, especially if they've grown their entire life believing what they have.

In my opinion, the problem here is the strength of somebody.

If your friend is hated just for being different than everyone else in the room (I didn't entirely understand from reading, sorry, but were they hating the character int he story? Or do they know that he is atheist? I think I got a bit confuzzled at that part ^-^;; But I'm sure it's just me, not at all the wording!), then maybe he should learn to handle that a it better because that kind of stuff just comes with life. It's a sad belief and hard for me to try stand by, but I feel that's probably the truth here. I think a person would just need to learn to harden themselves to this and maybe even think if people are so affected from their bias, they'd rather not be friends with any of those people to begin with!

I just also think that people who believe in their religions will not be easily stirred away from what they believe (and ha, I've even seen that on this forum!) and they have a strong will to stick to what they've been taught and those who teach it will be the same. If you tried convincing them to leave this, they'll probably just feel antagonized and not see that it could possibly be helpful.

Maybe you could share your story, idk how far it would go though cause I just don't know anything XD awwww

People probably want to follow some certain order to what they believe though and maybe they would want to have others to share their beliefs in common with. They'd probably set up a certain religion all over again and still would find it hard to except those who believe otherwise.

I also think, though, that even without religion to have a bias on, that people will still find bias on many other things. I just think it's part of our nature to do so =_= There will always be antagonistic views whether people want to see it or not.

I just hope hope hope that this doesn't need to happen again. I would try convincing him that those people aren't even worth his time to think about, but in many cases that could probably not make a person feel any better at all... I'm sorry that I'm not being much help here, I really want to help, it's just that I don't think I quite know how...

And please anyone correct me on anything, I am definitely no psychologist! XD I would rather study something that has less to do with humans and the way they work... I guess I just have no wish to understand this? XD I like the earth instead! =3

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Damn. First and foremost, I'm really sorry you had to go through all of this. I hope that you and your friend have worked everything out and are cool with each other. I also hope that you two won't feel as alone as you used to. On to the gist of the post though...

I'm not sure if Organized Religion is to blame as much as it is ignorant/arrogant people. With any population, when there is a majority of something, it tends to have this effect. Where I live right now, there is practically a war between Athiests and Theists, mainly Muslims. There is an ex-Muslim who left Islam, and the whole Muslim community has practically shunned him, which is sad because he was once accepted by everyone as a companion. This guy comes in with questions about Islam, and the older Muslims start to freak out because they don't understand how a "believer" can question their religion. Out of anger for being ignored, he went to facebook, added every Muslim adult and kid he could find, and started posting about all the "errors" and "inconsistencies" in Islam. The Muslims were outraged and ostracized the man, who completely left Islam for Atheism. Now that he left Islam, you have Muslim parents acting like its the end of the world, as if they've never seen an Atheist before lol. They tell their children to stay away from Facebook and the internet and even philosophy so that their kids never question Islam. It's honestly hilarious to me because people don't realize that it is because of them that this man left the religion. They think that he's been possessed by a demon or something. So I tell them instead of bashing the man and his beliefs, just pray for him.

What's funny though, is this man who left Islam because of their intolerance and arrogance, has now become an arrogant person who cannot tolerate any theist who disagrees with his claims. My facebook newsfeed these days is clogged up with his posts about "how the Quran has an inconsistency" or "how the Prophet was a pedophile" or something, with 500 comments of argument between Muslims and Atheists (and other religions sometimes like to butt in, mainly Christianity, to claim how their religion is correct but Islam is false). It's honestly more of an argument about who's dick is bigger, and always results in them bashing each other personally. The athiests will talk about how the Muslims (and other theists that decide to side with them) are blinded by their Creationist ideals, whereas the Muslims will (ironically) talk about how they're blinded by their arrogance and can't see the truth in front of them.

My point is you can't fight hate with hate, because it will not get you anywhere. Especially when you're in the minority. Organized Religion isn't your problem, it's the natural tendency of the majority to become arrogant. The only way to stop arrogant people is to humble them. Fight intolerance and ignorance with tolerance and wisdom. Have the patience to tolerate them, and show that you have knowledge of their religion (or lack thereof) but simply want to learn more about everything. One of my best friends is athiest, and my parents love him because of how accepting he is of Islam and that he is willing to learn more about it. His parents love me because I'm not a blind follower of religion but someone who is trying to educate himself.

Best I can think of at the moment, if I can think of anything better I will let you know. Take care of yourself.

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I agree with Helios. It's more an issue of people who are religious just happening to be prejudiced douchebags at the same time. I know a lot of people who belong to "organized religion" as well, and they're perfectly nice people. Buuut, like anything people have in common, it can get sorta clique-ish and they start to think there's something wrong with everybody else and they get a God complex (no pun intended)

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Omg thank god I'm not the only person that tried to read the entire thing >_< I was seriously expecting to be the only one especially since this is FFtF

Yeah I suppose Helios' point was where I was leading to, though I think he may have done a better job explaining than I have XD

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Don't blame the whole organisation for the ignorance of some of its members. Even if christianity didn't exist but simply the majority of people believed in a god, it's very likely that your friend would still suffer the consequences of being the "only" non-believer.

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I would love to be able to change this kind of stuff as well, but I honestly think those who are strongly religious are never going to listen to anything that anyone else has to say, especially if they've grown their entire life believing what they have.

Mm... yes, that is the sad, bitter truth of it, and by far the biggest obstacle...

If your friend is hated just for being different than everyone else in the room (I didn't entirely understand from reading, sorry, but were they hating the character int he story? Or do they know that he is atheist? I think I got a bit confuzzled at that part ^-^;; But I'm sure it's just me, not at all the wording!),

Ah, this was the character in the story, sorry for not clarifying...

It's a sad belief and hard for me to try stand by, but I feel that's probably the truth here. I think a person would just need to learn to harden themselves to this and maybe even think if people are so affected from their bias, they'd rather not be friends with any of those people to begin with!

There's definitely some truth to that, to find comfort in those whom are more open... the problem lies elsewhere though, where sometimes there just isn't anyone to relate to...

Maybe you could share your story, idk how far it would go though cause I just don't know anything XD awwww

I will talk to him about this and see if he's okay with it, probably when he leaves for college.

I just also think that people who believe in their religions will not be easily stirred away from what they believe (and ha, I've even seen that on this forum!) and they have a strong will to stick to what they've been taught and those who teach it will be the same. If you tried convincing them to leave this, they'll probably just feel antagonized and not see that it could possibly be helpful.

Yeah, that's right... and I've no problem with the concept of that, and I've no problem with wanting to continue believing in that, but some of those teachings carry a lot of hate, and I wish more people could see that...

I also think, though, that even without religion to have a bias on, that people will still find bias on many other things. I just think it's part of our nature to do so =_= There will always be antagonistic views whether people want to see it or not.

Mm, there's a lot of that too. Racism, homophobia, everywhere... it truly is sick and it's painful that it'll always exist in some form...

I just hope hope hope that this doesn't need to happen again. I would try convincing him that those people aren't even worth his time to think about, but in many cases that could probably not make a person feel any better at all... I'm sorry that I'm not being much help here, I really want to help, it's just that I don't think I quite know how...

Story of my life... no matter how minor, I want to do what I can about all of this... but I don't know what to do. I don't even know if I can do anything. Even if it's a minor contribution to the problem...

There is an ex-Muslim who left Islam, and the whole Muslim community has practically shunned him, which is sad because he was once accepted by everyone as a companion. This guy comes in with questions about Islam, and the older Muslims start to freak out because they don't understand how a "believer" can question their religion. Out of anger for being ignored, he went to facebook, added every Muslim adult and kid he could find, and started posting about all the "errors" and "inconsistencies" in Islam. The Muslims were outraged and ostracized the man, who completely left Islam for Atheism. Now that he left Islam, you have Muslim parents acting like its the end of the world, as if they've never seen an Atheist before lol. They tell their children to stay away from Facebook and the internet and even philosophy so that their kids never question Islam. It's honestly hilarious to me because people don't realize that it is because of them that this man left the religion. They think that he's been possessed by a demon or something. So I tell them instead of bashing the man and his beliefs, just pray for him.

...My god... that's horrible. But yeah. I don't know how strongly I came across otherwise, but it's not religion I despise, as I think something's up there myself... it's just the intolerance that comes with it.

What's funny though, is this man who left Islam because of their intolerance and arrogance, has now become an arrogant person who cannot tolerate any theist who disagrees with his claims. My facebook newsfeed these days is clogged up with his posts about "how the Quran has an inconsistency" or "how the Prophet was a pedophile" or something, with 500 comments of argument between Muslims and Atheists (and other religions sometimes like to butt in, mainly Christianity, to claim how their religion is correct but Islam is false). It's honestly more of an argument about who's dick is bigger, and always results in them bashing each other personally. The athiests will talk about how the Muslims (and other theists that decide to side with them) are blinded by their Creationist ideals, whereas the Muslims will (ironically) talk about how they're blinded by their arrogance and can't see the truth in front of them.

Well... I don't mean to justify his current attitude... but I see how it was influenced. That does frighten me.

My point is you can't fight hate with hate, because it will not get you anywhere. Especially when you're in the minority. Organized Religion isn't your problem, it's the natural tendency of the majority to become arrogant. The only way to stop arrogant people is to humble them. Fight intolerance and ignorance with tolerance and wisdom. Have the patience to tolerate them, and show that you have knowledge of their religion (or lack thereof) but simply want to learn more about everything.

Will try to abide to that should I ever meet such a person.

Best I can think of at the moment, if I can think of anything better I will let you know. Take care of yourself.

Will do.

I agree with Helios. It's more an issue of people who are religious just happening to be prejudiced douchebags at the same time. I know a lot of people who belong to "organized religion" as well, and they're perfectly nice people.

I know they're not all bad. I don't think I emphasized this enough in the post, which is my fault. My mom's boyfriend goes to church and I do love him, he's sort of a distant father figure and he's helped a lot through the divorce. But well... you still need to take the bad with the good, you know? It's the bad I have a problem with...

Don't blame the whole organisation for the ignorance of some of its members. Even if christianity didn't exist but simply the majority of people believed in a god, it's very likely that your friend would still suffer the consequences of being the "only" non-believer.

Yeah... I know. Perhaps I should rephase, it's not the organizations I hate, it's the "consequences"...

Thanks a lot for the posts, guys. Especially Datia and Helios, you two had a lot to say.

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Keep in mind that for every person isolated by religion, there's also a person who feels accepted because of it. One of my sister's really good friends was going through a hard time in her life, and all of her friends except my sister deserted her. She almost committed suicide, but found her salvation in religion, and is now in a much better place.

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Replace all instances of religion with race, and the story itself doesn't change. The problem isn't religion, it's the inability to accept something that's different. Send my condolences to your friend; Christianity is about accepting people, and the people he's surrounded by failed to do that. As long as both sides are willing to ridicule the other, I don't see things improving.

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Tony is that really you

Is this what you've been doing while you were gone

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Replace all instances of religion with race, and the story itself doesn't change. The problem isn't religion, it's the inability to accept something that's different. Send my condolences to your friend; Christianity is about accepting people, and the people he's surrounded by failed to do that. As long as both sides are willing to ridicule the other, I don't see things improving.

This basically, difference is inevitable. People are always going to react to some sort of difference, you take religion away, they'll replace it with some other construct by which to cause divisions. Essentially the only alternative would be to reduce every individual into a carbon copy of each other, possibly less extreme but to that effect.

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I caught our boy here on Skype a few hours ago (before watching "The Hangover" for the first time. Yes~).

He seems to think he's "changed for the better", to paraphrase, and so far I agree. I don't know why he thought there was anything wrong with him to begin with, but improvement is always nice.

He personally asked me what he asked us here and I gave him a shoddy answer that was all I felt I had the authority to give. Most unfortunate.

I suppose it's been longer than I thought since I had a conversation with you bro.

I guess what irked me during our conversation and while I was reading this post is that all of your typing quirks are changed or gone. It's not just a Homestuck thing. Everyone has some way of talking or typing or whatever that quickly becomes recognizable and while it's been too long for me to think of any examples, you just speak different, like someone who's really started over.

Like Robocop

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Thousands of condolences to your friend and you. That must've been difficult. :<

Um... to address your plea (and to reiterate what eclipse said), I really don't think that religion is the problem. I believe it's nonacceptance and ignorance towards what Christianity is really about: Acceptance, forgiveness, generosity, kindness towards your neighbor-- things like that! Unfortunately, many Christians fail to express those fruits and, in the case of your friend, hurt others through their lack of humility. It's unfortunate that your friend has to go through that, it really is, but you know... life is just like that sometimes. We just have to power through it and be strong.

And I guess the only thing you can do right now is to be better. Lead through example and just... be good to people.

I hope things keep going well for you and your friend. <3

Ah ha, I hope I wrote that well... I had a hard time putting my thoughts into text because it's so late. lol

Edited by Esme

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Replace all instances of religion with race, and the story itself doesn't change. The problem isn't religion, it's the inability to accept something that's different. Send my condolences to your friend; Christianity is about accepting people, and the people he's surrounded by failed to do that. As long as both sides are willing to ridicule the other, I don't see things improving.

So because I am an enormous douchebag, I'm going to explain why I think this line of thinking is absolutely incorrect (not just eclipse's, a lot of people seem to be agreeing with this). First of all, it's almost impossible to compare this to race, as race can't actually be controlled by an individual, and has little real biological effect on them, whereas organized religion, essentially by definition, requires one to follow certain tenets or ideas. Like it or not, the holy books of the Abrahamic religions explicitly command their followers to discriminate against others based on a variety of factors, and while many moderate religious folk ignore these tenets (which I'm totally glad they do because those parts are fucking dumb), the fact remains that this is part of organized religion, and can't ever really be seperated from it. When I'm speaking here I'm talking primarily about Christianity, Judaism and Islam because they're both the ones I know the most about and the most widespread and organized of the religions, but they are all more or less founded on a number of principles that could easily lead to this shit, even if you do ignore all the not laying with other men stuff. All of these religions believe that they are the one, true religion, and that not only is everyone else wrong, they will be punished eternally for it (though some sects disagree, though surprisingly few), which when you actually think about it, is an absolutely whacked view to hold, because it is in essence a belief that everyone who disagrees with you deserves to suffer endlessly. I cannot see how you can make an argument that consciously subscribing to notions like this is in any way similar to being born with specific characteristics that mark you as being a member of a specific race, or that they can even be compared when speaking about discrimination or similar topics.

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^ We should differentiate between 'race' as an objective biological factor and the so-called 'race discourse' - the set of mythologems and stereotypes as to what belonging to a particular ethnicity or race entails, and what connotations it brings on a purely ontological level, conditions you simply cannot escape no matter how far you go with the rationalisations in your sophistry. Similarly, you could talk of objective communication between the divine and humankind in its contrast to people's unreliable retelling of God's will as a way to feel secure, morally superior, metaphysically privileged or righteous. I would say there is a very strong similarity between the race discourse and the stock phrases delivered by dishonest people who claim to be religious.

Anyway, I see absolutely no data upon analysing which you would conclude that it is the unanimous "Christian belief" (whatever that is) that salvation is either a tick or a non-tick on a piece of paper dependent entirely on one's relation to a given church. The question of what happens with "pagans" in the afterlife has sufficient coverage in the Bible, and the European Christian culture (whatever is left of it ) has, as a whole, established for itself that those traditionally named "pagans" are to be held responsible for their deeds, as opposed to faith (those part of the church will be held responsible for their deeds moreso, as they have the words of God which they perceive to be exactly that - words of God). This has been the case since the times of Renaissance at least. If every Christian indeed sees salvation as a yes/no thing exhausted by belonging to their church, I only see it possible if every Christian you've talked to on the subject is an asylum maniac, which I can't presume for very obvious reasons, so I'd like to clarify - where exactly do you find Christians to talk to, who are they and in which manner do you pose this (very curious) question?

It goes without saying though, that those who see religion as something to exploit to tell others where they're wrong, as opposed to something that serves to unite with the divine and better them, are intellectually dishonest. However, it is far more dishonest for somebody who defines and overemphasises himself as a 'thinking being', to go into matters of humans' ultimate destination with idle, bored pretence of being interested and completely irrelevant ridicule which makes their supposed preoccupation with theological and existential questions the same joke that they happen to be as people. If you know any of these people, and they ever wonder why they are seen as intolerable everywhere besides horrid imageboard internet communities and whatnot when you're around, give them a hint what the reason for that is.

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[stuff]

I have yet to be convinced religion wasn't just some (potentially clever) dude's tool for manipulating people into mindlessly agreeing with his (potentially twisted) views. An unfortunate characteristic of modern and past religion is that the sort of thoughts had by people that follow them are such that they would not only disagree that they are letting some lowly human push them around for reasons of insecurity, but in their belief in a god or gods they would honestly view you as a heathen attempting to make them betray said gods.

How many people, intelligent or otherwise, would continue following rules that in doing so deprived them of the very free will and dignity they were so proud of? Perhaps they really are too weak to handle the truth.

Now I want you to picture a fat, stupid and overbearing individual discovering that the giant robot he had been worshiping had an acne covered little boy inside of it. He pulls the scrawny bastard out, scolds him for being so racist (spitting in his face inadvertently in the process due to the shape of his fat cheeks) and then throws the kid into a ditch.

The stupidity of that individual unfortunately prevents him from inspecting the robot, himself or anything else. If we could just get people to realize they're the fat guy...!

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So because I am an enormous douchebag, I'm going to explain why I think this line of thinking is absolutely incorrect (not just eclipse's, a lot of people seem to be agreeing with this). First of all, it's almost impossible to compare this to race, as race can't actually be controlled by an individual, and has little real biological effect on them, whereas organized religion, essentially by definition, requires one to follow certain tenets or ideas.

Because the rest of your post can be summarised as "I hate religion because they think they are right and those taht disagree get punished for the rest of their lives." I'm mostly going to address this.

And yes, this comparison is perfectly fair. Why? Because it is discrimination either way, the whole point was that this person could be discriminated against for being an atheist or for having a different race. Yes they are two different things, but the fact of the matter is that people who are deemed different by the majority will get discriminated against, regardless of the reason, and so eclipse is saying that it is foolish to simply blame organised religion as if it is the only cause of discrimination and prejudice, when there will always be a cause for it either way, including stuff like race. To say discriminating due to race and discriminating due to religion are different misses the point entirely.

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Hi I'm Nestling and I'm going to pretty much regurgitate everything on here.

The thing that I really dislike about Christians is that they completely ignore the whole "LOVE AND TOLERATE" thing in the Bible. I'm blessed to not know any of these religious extremists, but I know that a lot of them do exist. It's been a problem ever since the whole religion started, leading eventually to the death of Jesus Christ, because they chose to not have faith in God and accept this man who was the Son of God, and had proven himself multiple times.

Christianity is a faith based religion. I teach a 4th grade class at my local church about religion, and many of our lessons are about faith. In fact, today, I taught about the miracles of Jesus, that Jesus saves. We used the story of the man with leperosy. He was ostracized by the community because you know, "Oh no, he has lepresy, he'll spread it! Shun!", but then Jesus came, and actually held his hand and saved him. Many Christians today are like the crowd that shunned the leper. They see someone and just go "He xxx? HOW UNORTHODOX! SHUN." instead of being more Christ-like and loving them.

Growing up in the church, my favorite campaign that we had was "Until the Whole World Hears"

Not "Until the whole world is" or "Until the whole world cares", but "Until the Whole World Hears" As Christians, we are meant to spread the word of God all around the world. We're not meant to force someone to believe or to yell at them until they recieve some sort of revelation. Our job is to inform people about the teachings of God and Jesus, to tell them that there IS a savior out there, and accepting him will save you and, by following his teachings, will lead you into eternal life in heaven. As I said, Christianity is a faith based religion. If people choose not to believe this, then that's their own choice, I pray that God will show them to his way.

There was a verse in the bible (I'm 95% sure it's in Revalation. Even though I'm a religious teacher, I'm awful at remembering passages.) that pretty much said "Let those evildoers be, for the power of God will punish them" or something like that (I have to be really careful about phrasing that, because with bible verses, literally one word off and I'll be spending the next 5 pages getting yelled at). Christians forget about this so much, and are just concerned about "EVERYONE MUST BE CHRISTIAN."

Really, reading all the replies in this topic, I find it silly how people are forbidden from learning about other things. How people are told to get off Facebook because "omg you might not support our religion!" For without confidence in what you believe, how can you truly believe. For blind faith means nothing. The reason I have such a strong belief in God is because he's always prevailed for me, even though I've been involved with so many things on the internet. Even though I've contemplated with atheism. He's always proven himself greatest, and I know that with him, I can accomplish great things. I don't blindly believe because my mom took me to church and I work at church. I believe because I have actual faith. The bible talks about the armor of God. It talks about the shield, the helmet, the. . . aglets (As I said, concepts, not specifics), but the biggest thing is the sword. I have a partner that I teach with, and he always says "xxx has his sword today!" when a child brings their own bible. If we're just left with censorship, then when people actually go to the world, and you know, meet. . .:O! An athiest! Their sword will be dull and inexperienced and they will be susceptible to failure, or they'll just look really silly and not really convince anybody that their religion is strong.

I really am sad that you've had to go through all of this. I've been going through a tough week too, but nothing compared to what you've been going through. Sadly, there's nothing we can do about this. There will always be those whom are religious extremists, and will go "SD:KGJKSDLJFKGLSJD INTOLERABLE" at everyone. Even atheists will do this a lot. I have seen many athiests go "Oh, you're a christian? Are you stupid or something?" and pretty much turn the tables on your situation.

Sadly, we can't really do much. For based off of our community that we spend so much time with, we are influenced that certain things are true. For instance, my dad is pretty racist, mostly because he was born in Michigan. If you look at his entire family line, he was born with blonde hair and blue eyes in the middle of Michigan, to a white family coming from the magical land of white people. He grew up believing that it was ok to make fun of black people, because of the beliefs that those people had in their community. Even if I were to come in and go "Hey guys accept black people there's nothing wrong with them", they'd still not be able to change their beliefs about the race, for they have their own premonitions, their own beliefs, and you know, the biggest thing that humans dislike is being wrong. We grow strong opinions about things that we don't even know, and we hold so truly to them, that when suggestions are made, instead of thinking about them and acknowledging them (even if we don't change out opinion), we just call them stupid and run away, not doing anything. It's a problem that will always exist, and situations like your friend's will always occur.

All we can do is just support each other in whatever way possible. It's sad that things like these exist in the world though. . .Christianity has gone from trying to be more Christ-like to trying to be right, and using whatever means to do so. Christ never forced the religion on anyone, he just showed them his power, and they believed. If they chose not to believe, then too bad for them.

I don't even know if this made sense, I just felt like typing this out. I gotten bored of writing my "baww" statuses on Facebook and need something else to invest my time in :<.

. . . but yeah why did you post this in FFtF, that's not a very good idea.

Edited by Nestling

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^ We should differentiate between 'race' as an objective biological factor and the so-called 'race discourse' - the set of mythologems and stereotypes as to what belonging to a particular ethnicity or race entails, and what connotations it brings on a purely ontological level, conditions you simply cannot escape no matter how far you go with the rationalisations in your sophistry. Similarly, you could talk of objective communication between the divine and humankind in its contrast to people's unreliable retelling of God's will as a way to feel secure, morally superior, metaphysically privileged or righteous. I would say there is a very strong similarity between the race discourse and the stock phrases delivered by dishonest people who claim to be religious.

Anyway, I see absolutely no data upon analysing which you would conclude that it is the unanimous "Christian belief" (whatever that is) that salvation is either a tick or a non-tick on a piece of paper dependent entirely on one's relation to a given church. The question of what happens with "pagans" in the afterlife has sufficient coverage in the Bible, and the European Christian culture (whatever is left of it ) has, as a whole, established for itself that those traditionally named "pagans" are to be held responsible for their deeds, as opposed to faith (those part of the church will be held responsible for their deeds moreso, as they have the words of God which they perceive to be exactly that - words of God). This has been the case since the times of Renaissance at least. If every Christian indeed sees salvation as a yes/no thing exhausted by belonging to their church, I only see it possible if every Christian you've talked to on the subject is an asylum maniac, which I can't presume for very obvious reasons, so I'd like to clarify - where exactly do you find Christians to talk to, who are they and in which manner do you pose this (very curious) question?

It goes without saying though, that those who see religion as something to exploit to tell others where they're wrong, as opposed to something that serves to unite with the divine and better them, are intellectually dishonest. However, it is far more dishonest for somebody who defines and overemphasises himself as a 'thinking being', to go into matters of humans' ultimate destination with idle, bored pretence of being interested and completely irrelevant ridicule which makes their supposed preoccupation with theological and existential questions the same joke that they happen to be as people. If you know any of these people, and they ever wonder why they are seen as intolerable everywhere besides horrid imageboard internet communities and whatnot when you're around, give them a hint what the reason for that is.

It's certainly possible for religious people to believe that salvation isn't binary, it's really possible for them to belive almost anything, that's what religion is about. You can have a personal religion, and you can form sects, and in the very post you are referring to I conceded that some sects don't believe in eternal damnation whatsover. I absolutely accept that people can break from religious doctrine, and I think that's great, but the more people break from it, the more it goes from organized religion to disorganized religion. I don't like the idea that people need to believe in something, but I recognize that that it's there. My problem here is with organized religion, and while some groups might not officially act in the manner I have described, the fact is, the Catholic church, by far the biggest religious organization on the planet officially believes that anybody who rejects Christ cannot be saved.

Because the rest of your post can be summarised as "I hate religion because they think they are right and those taht disagree get punished for the rest of their lives." I'm mostly going to address this.

And yes, this comparison is perfectly fair. Why? Because it is discrimination either way, the whole point was that this person could be discriminated against for being an atheist or for having a different race. Yes they are two different things, but the fact of the matter is that people who are deemed different by the majority will get discriminated against, regardless of the reason, and so eclipse is saying that it is foolish to simply blame organised religion as if it is the only cause of discrimination and prejudice, when there will always be a cause for it either way, including stuff like race. To say discriminating due to race and discriminating due to religion are different misses the point entirely.

I'm not saying that it's okay to discriminate based on religion, I'm saying that it is different than discriminating based on race, which it undeniably is. I totally understand that discrimination will find a way to happen, but my point, which you seem to miss, is that organized religion (not religion by itself necessarily) facilitates discrimination. There would be discrimination without it, but there would be less discrimination, or it would be harder to pull off. I mean, seriously, do you guys not pay attention to how absurd the Catholic Church is and the shit they pull?

How about homosexuals? I'm not going to pretend that homosexuals would be absolutely fine if there was no organized religion, but organized religion makes it significantly easier for people to discriminate against homosexuals, and is routinely used as an excuse for that discrimination.

Edited by Defeatist Elitist

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Hmmm. . .well, glad you saw my point of "people will be idiots and find a way to discriminate anyway". That's what I meant. The fact that it was Christians doing this saddens me. Their actions go against what Jesus said about loving others. Before you are a Pastafarian/Muslim/atheist/Buddhist/Christian/male/female/inter-sexed/something else entirely/whatever race you happen to identify with. . .you are a person, and one that should be loved.

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I'm not saying that it's okay to discriminate based on religion, I'm saying that it is different than discriminating based on race, which it undeniably is.

Your point was that the two are incomparable, which they aren't as both are used as a means to discriminate and thus fit eclipse's point. I wasn't even debating the point you made, as it is your opinion on whether you think organised religion is good or not.

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