I dont believe in God. I’m not sure wether the exact word to describe my non-belief is atheism or agnosticism – all this religion stuff is something I’m still processing and may process for a very long time. But the thing is, I don’t believe in God.
I don’t believe in God and I think nobody in his right mind would believe in God if it wasn’t for the religious education we’re given when we still haven’t developed any sense of criticism.
Have you ever asked yourself whether you would believe that a mysterious invisible but omnipotent and omniscient wizard created the earth and everything on it if you weren’t taught so when you were a kid? Would you believe it if you only learned in your 20s that God’s son came out of a virgin and then resuscitated after his death?
Do you really think God would be good enough to help you pass that difficult exam or take that wonderful picture that got you an award, but would let millions of innocent children die of starvation or get sacrificed at war? And no, the answer “God works in mysterious ways” isn’t enough for me and just seems like a good excuse to make us close our eyes a little bit longer.
I know I may not be speaking about the God you believe in, and the above may not describe very well your faith, but then again, you won’t find two persons on this planet believing in the exact same God. And let’s have a quick look at all the religions in the world; any particular reason yours is the right one? Will all those good people go to hell except for you and the few others that share your beliefs AND interpreted the bible or whatever your sacred book is called in your religion in the exact same way you did?
It may be hard to accept that you were wrong this whole time and I am not saying you’ll agree with me or suddenly wake up and claim you don’t believe anymore, but it’s worth stopping and thinking about it. Because the thing is, when you allow yourself to start questioning your faith, the number of interrogations that arise is almost infinite.
My goal here isn’t to convince you in two or three easy sentences to not believe in your God anymore though. The reason I’m coming up with this subject is simply because I want to be able to say it.
I’ve been tempted to mention my lack of faith here many times. Why? Well, historically speaking, marriage is a religious act and today many wedding ceremonies still take place at church. So the subject isn’t exactly off topic. But I thought to myself “This is a wedding blog you’re running, how would people feel if they knew you don’t believe in God?”. I won’t hide I feared I’d loose a few followers too.
But then last Wednesday the massacre at the French Charlie Hebdo happened. 12 persons were murdered because the journal decided to publish drawings that represented Muhammad. The main target was the cartoonist and director of the journal Charb, but the attack was conducted so that as many other cartoonists and people related to the journal as possible would die along, not to count anybody standing between the murderers and the premises of the journal. The targets of the attack were defenders of the human rights and liberty of expression, they were against racism, good persons. They died because they thought we could talk about religion as we can of any other subject.
When I heard about the murders I was in shock. I didn’t think such a horrible thing could happen in my country. I felt indignant but at the same time powerless. I thought that changing my profile picture for a white “Je Suis Charlie” on a black background wasn’t enough. And then I stopped to think about all this. Did I think they had the right to draw the things the drew? Of course I did! To mention one of the victims “Religion is just another ideology hence there’s no reason we can’t criticise religion.”. Then why wouldn’t I, little wedding blogger, have the courage to admit here that I don’t believe in God?
The most revolting aspect of the attacks of the past days is the attack against the freedom of expression. So I’m not Charb, but this made me think I shouldn’t be afraid to tell you that I think religion is bullshit. These last days I’ve read a lot of “Religion isn’t the problem, extremism is.”. Well, I don’t agree. Where there’s religion there’s usually extremism, whether it’s Christianity, Islam, Judaism or else. I know believers get offended when non-believers bring up the topic of religion, but this is really something I should be able to say without making any of you feel disrespected. I think that being offended by someone simply disagreeing with your belief is somehow proving those extremists right. I don’t get offended because some people believe in God, I actually do respect people’s beliefs, but I expect them to not be offended by my misbelief in return and to be able to speak freely about the subject.
These guys paid with their lives for making use of a basic right. And I couldn’t feel #jesuischarlie while thinking at the same time that it would be best to keep this opinion to myself. I hope their death will inspire you to fight for your own right to express your ideas. Changing people’s mind and making the humanity evolve isn’t just the mission of a handful of journalists. It starts with all of us. If you can only make one person stop and think, then you’ve already done a lot.