Sunday, September 06, 2009


Religious characters

The local Methodist church’s marquee sign has changed again, and there’s another new blurb there:


I find that one odd. I’ll give them the IM-speak “UR”, because they need to save space; it’s pushing the margins of the sign, as it is. But...’s the preposition that seems wrong. What does it do to your character? I should think that for would be more apt. I mean, there’s a great difference between, “Look what that guy did to me,” and “Look what that guy did for me,” isn’t there?

But, OK, I’ll bite:

Since I have no religion, I’ll substitute “absence of religion,” instead. What does my absence of religion do to my character?

It makes me less credulous, unwilling to accept things with no evidence. It makes me question what I hear; it makes me look at what I see with an eye toward reasonable explanation and understanding. It makes me derive my moral values for myself, considering what my parents taught me, what I see around me, and what I understand to be best for co-existing in a civilized, peaceful society.

And imagine: I’ve come to the same conclusion as others have, with regard to morality. War is to be avoided, used as a last resort only. Hurting and abusing others, as with torture, is wrong. Everyone has a right to live her own life, make her own choices, take her own path, unimpeded by others. All people are equal, and should be treated with respect.

That’s what all the religious folk believe, too, right?

Um. Oh, wait. That  isn’t  how  it is  at all.


Another church in the area has a sign, too. I saw this one a week ago at the nearby First Presbyterian Church:

Yes, that seems apt.


The Ridger, FCD said...

The 3 Infantry Division headquarters in Wurzburg had (maybe still has for all I know) a wall painted with a picture of a soldier and the caption "What have you done for Private Marne today??"

It was regularly vandalized to "to"...

Sue VanHattum said...

>All people are equal, and should be treated with respect.

As a pagan, I'd change that to 'all beings are equally sacred, and should be treated with respect.'

Good post. We Unitarians and pagans are right there with you atheists in the struggle against violence and hatred. ;^)