Monday, March 8, 2010

A Sad Day in Nigeria

Sunday in Nigeria a horrific event occurred. It is hard to describe how I felt as I read about the massacre of several hundred Christians by Muslim tribes. I do not wish to use what happened here to try to justify atheism or look down on religion. I do, however, wish to say that this is one of the worst things that can come out of a distortion of religion.

While for me that distortion is enough to swear off the tradition altogether, I can only hope for others it is at least enough to be vigilant. I hope that the distortion of two peaceful religions that was the root of this massacre will cause religious people of any faith to be vigilant, to watch for those among them that would have others think and act in such violent extremes as this.

I have often been told that religion has many benefits. When I see things like this, I wonder what type of benefit could possibly outweigh this type of loss. A sense of community and an invisible entity to pray to do not make up for the pointless deaths of so many people. Religion and the religious make me angry for this reason. As I said before, I do not want to look down on religion using the massacre as a jumping off point. It is hard to understand, though, why anyone wishes to be connected to religions. Why does anyone wish to subject themselves to what I imagine is a slippery slope?

Please, do not fall down that slope to violence and prejudice. Please, catch anyone and everyone you can before they fall. Do not dismiss the secular view because it seems to contradict your belief. I wish that more people would take the good points from secularism, as many atheists take good points from religions.

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