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Positive belief

I know I've blogged about this before, and I may be repeating myself.  But it's something I've been thinking about lately.  Since I left the LDS church and became an atheist, I've had many people show dislike at me sharing my newfound beliefs.  I've had people ask me "You're not stating a positive belief.  You're just attacking my beliefs."  One guy criticized me (and my boyfriend) about pointing out the flaws in his church's doctrine, saying that we should instead focus our time on something constructive, such as a charitable organization.

My response to that is, I am doing something constructive by attacking your beliefs.  Your beliefs are negative, and I seek to make the world a more positive place by negating your negative beliefs.  You believe that homosexual behavior is sinful.  These beliefs have a direct negative effect on the people around you.  I've been volunteering at Lost N Found for a while now, and I really enjoy it.  The truth is that organization wouldn't exist if it weren't for hurtful religious teachings.  The main reason that there are roughly 800 homeless LGBT youth on the streets of Atlanta on any given night is because they were raised in homes where it was believed homosexuality is sinful.  Their parents kicked them out of their home when they came out of the closet.  Your belief is harmful.  The things you teach lead people to these kinds of situations.

I am all about teaching positive beliefs.  I believe that everyone has the right to a home--to shelter from the elements.  I believe that everyone has a right to basic necessities.  This includes shelter, food, clothing, and love.  I believe that it is bad for parents to disown their children for being queer.  I believe that it is bad to kick someone out on the street for living differently, behaving differently, or feeling differently.  I believe that children should be loved and nurtured by their parents, rather than attacked, ridiculed, and bullied.

The world that I want and the world that your religion are creating are different worlds.  I don't want the world where your religion is accepted universally.  I don't want a world where your religion is adopted as the national religion.  I don't want a world where the laws of the land are dictated by your dogma.  I want a world where freedom and happiness are maximized.  I want a world where people are allowed to live the life they choose to live, without being ridiculed or bullied for it.  I want a world where youth can feel comfortable telling their parents who they have a crush on, without being afraid of literally being disowned for it.

I am attacking your beliefs because I am trying to solve a problem in society, and your beliefs are the root of that problem.  We wouldn't have bullied LGBT people if it weren't for the religious belief that queer people are sinful or bad or immoral.  We wouldn't have as many homeless LGBT youth if it weren't for your belief.  We wouldn't have as many scientifically illiterate people in society if it weren't for your religion teaching that the Bible is right whenever science disagrees with it.  We wouldn't have death threats against atheists if your religion didn't teach that people who don't believe your religion are evil.

I am attacking your beliefs because I want a better world.  I want a world where people are allowed to be gay, where people are allowed to believe what they want, where people are allowed to live how they want, where people are allowed to be transgendered, where men and women are treated equally, where people of different races are all treated equally.  I want a world where someone isn't condemned for disagreeing with you (theologically).  I want a world where someone isn't persecuted for doing something that your sacred text says ey shouldn't do.

My belief is a positive belief.  I believe in equality.  I believe in compassion.  I believe in empathy.  I believe in kindness.  I believe in outreach to those who are in need.  I believe in helping others.  I believe in being honest.  I believe in being respectful and polite.  I believe in being rational, and reasonable.  I believe in the power of peaceful negotiation.  I believe in harmony.  I believe in love.

I am not attacking your beliefs because I want to ridicule you.  I am not attacking your beliefs because I want to hurt your feelings.  I am not attacking your beliefs because I'm heartless and know that you hold them dear but don't care about hurting you.  I don't attack your beliefs to be a dick.  I attack them because I believe them to be immoral.  I believe them to be unethical.  I believe that it is bad to teach that certain people are "sinful" or "going to hell" or any other similar verbology you wish to apply.  I believe that it is bad to marginalize someone or a group of people for being different.

I believe that in order to clean a wound, sometimes it is requisite to inflict further pain.  Sometimes in order to strike a problem at its root, harsh words must be said and some feelings must be hurt.  It is not a pleasant thing.  Hurting feelings and causing pain isn't the goal.  It is a means to an end.  It may hurt people to hear that their belief that gays are immoral is a harmful belief, and that they shouldn't believe that.  It may hurt people to hear that their religion isn't 100% correct all the time.  But it needs to be said in order to rid society of the problem that is festering because of those false and harmful beliefs.  That is the cause that I fight for.  For the bettering of society.  For a higher level of mutual understanding of all in the community.  For open minds and open hearts.

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