Honestly, it's a message I want to type up, print out, fold neatly into an envelope, and then jam down one person's throat. Or as a fellow intern said (in reference to something else), I want to salt and pepper it and make the person EAT IT.
Ok, that sounds intensely violent (should probably stop the Criminal Minds marathon...) but this person's behavior REALLY bothers me. And it's not just this person, tons of people do what this person does in multiple different ways but for some reason I've been unable to cut this particular person totally out.
This person is what I would call "extremely religious". To clarify- there are those with strong religious beliefs. These people follow their religion closely and gain great strength from their practices. Further, they enjoy sharing their experience with others but respect other perspectives enough not push their their practices on other people.
A fabulous example would be an undergraduate friend (I will not mention her name since I didn't get her permission to do so but I'll let her know this is a secret shout-out to her awesomeness). Before I met this person, I'll be honest, I did not have a positive opinion of people with strong religious beliefs nor those who thought external forces controlled their lives. This epic example of a woman (and a woman of God) changed my opinion- frequently she discusses (and continues to on her Facebook statuses) her daily events as being caused or allowed by God/Jesus. But instead of blaming God for misfortune, she sees God's challenges as just that- challenges that will help her become more beautiful, strong, and awesome for things to come. Now, I'm not saying I'm jealous of my friend's connection with the Lord- I'm comfortable with my relationship with him and know that her lifestyle would not really work for me- but I greatly admire and respect her for being epitome of a good person and a good Christian.
Now, granted, there are some not-so-good Christians out there. And I don't mean people like me, whom have a general apathy for their religion, but I mean people like the Westboro Baptist Church. These are the "extremely religious" people I referred to earlier- they take their religious to an uncomfortable extreme. And street goes both ways- the first person whom I mentioned in not-so-nice terms is an extreme Atheist.
Now, he's not going out there and protesting at churches (although I honestly wouldn't put that past him) but in all the time I've known him, he has been constantly speaking out towards those with strong religious beliefs, particularly Christians.
I've even asked him before: if someone's beliefs gives them hope and comfort, why does it matter to you? I don't remember his exact response (since this was probably 2 years ago) but I know that this person operates on science as a religion- something he defiantly believes in as "truth" and the only truth. Those whom do not believe in this one and only truth, are illogical and and, therefore, unworthy of respect. Further, I know this person sees his role in life as someone who must confront those with religion and repent for their illogical behavior.
Because, you know, that's not at ALL what extreme Christians or Muslims or *fill in the blank* do. They NEVER use strong, hurtful language and actions to attack others' personal and spiritual beliefs. Nor do ever they act condescendingly towards people whom have differing beliefs. They always totally love and respect others as being from another walk of life and appreciate them for holding differences opposing them. AND as someone who is a true scientist, this person openly welcomes those to challenge his theories for the more challenges you face, the stronger your theory becomes.
...oh wait, that's not what happens? Oh,... Sciencedamn... (as opposed to God- I know, I'm hilarious).
Let's not even address (heads up- I'm totally about to address it) the fact that science is not ironically not fact at all. Science is a breathing, evolving community with adapting practices like a... a... um,... huh... er... maybe a fucking religion. Seriously. Science used to say the sun revolves around the Earth. And if we go by the idea that science is the truth that means... oh... Sciencedamn! I could continue to illustrate how science has drastically changed throughout the years but that's unnecessary (and let's be real- if my C average in history ass can name more than 2 examples, you know there's a shit-ton more we're missing). Now, I have heard Atheists criticize the religion for the catastrophic things done in the name of religion. Anybody remember the eugenics movement (can we again take a detour to admire this C students recount!)? Thousands of people were made infertile in efforts to weed out genetic imperfections. Scientifically, this makes total sense. Does it make it right? No. But don't PREACH to me about how religion has done historically terrible things in the hands of man.
Religion's not the problem. Man is the problem. For if you remove religion, I promise you man will find a way to hurt and manipulate others. Maybe I'm too Hobbesian (Thomas Hobbes, of course, being a high member in Christianity... oh wait, he was a philosopher) but man is selfish brute and he/she will find a way to do ugly things.
So pot, this is kettle telling you to look in a fucking mirror.
Seriously though, how full of pride do you have to be to not acknowledge that you have the same flaws you cannot stand and sneer upon on a daily basis?! And maybe that's why this person particularly bothers me- people with pride just get under my fucking skin. I'm still doing some self-exploration as to why that bothers me so but it does. I cannot stand those with pride- and I don't mean confidence or a sense of self worth but genuine PRIDE like John Doe from the movie Se7en contemplated using you as part of his master plan. I mean pride as when all those dead white dudes like Dante were sitting around talking shit about prideful people, they were thinking about you but wanted to spare your feelings. I mean pride as in you limp around with no nose because you shot yourself in the foot and cut off your nose to spite your face. Peacocks have nothing on your pride.
Ok, I went a little overboard there...
So why do I continue the vague connections I have with this person? I feel sorry for him. I'm sorry that he does not have the Lord to be his shepherd or Allah as a guide. I'm sorry that he has not found enlightenment from the teachings of the Buddha and will be reincarnated as a lesser being. I'm sorry that he cannot just find comfort in his personal "truth" and let the others explore in their own good time. And I'm sorry that he has chosen to look for all the negatives in the people around him who do have some sense of morality and love, even if it came from a religion. I have no intentions of being my beautiful friend whom walks with the Lord with every step, but I hope to continue to be a more positive example of someone with religion, even if it's only the vaguest amount.
Thank you, I'll get off of my pulpit...