Last week, I came across this article on Salon: The growing trend that’s got the religious right thoroughly rattled, in which author Amanda Marcotte describes the growing trend of secularlism in America, and how it’s freaking religious Republicans out.
Forgive me for getting a little political/introspective here, but this is a topic that I dwell on often. Religion has always been a difficult issue for me to swallow, and while I respect all of my religious friends, I grow frustrated reading what comes out of some of their mouths on Facebook.
I loved this article for many reasons, the primary being that it’s been a long time since I read something that touched directly on why I’ve moved away from religion and organized faith over the years.
As the word “religious” increasingly gets coupled with an image of intolerance and hatred, more and more people, regardless of their belief in God, are downscaling the impact religion has on their lives , or in the case with the “nones”, giving up the idea of religion altogether.
Marcotte also makes an interesting point regarding the recent Hobby Lobby decision in the Supreme Court: as more Americans move toward a secular way of life, evangelical Christians have become more and more strident about their “rights” – namely, their “right” to impose their beliefs on others. The Hobby Lobby decision illustrates this, as does the annoying “war on Christmas” that emerges each year – LIBERALS are threatening MY RIGHT to plant a manger scene on the front lawn of City Hall! (Even though, you know, our government isn’t technically supposed to be “Christian”, or any religion for that matter.)
But as Christians become louder and more extremist in this fight, the more it drives people away – people like me. The article points out that much of what we see the religious right campaigning for in this country is centered around anti-choice legislation for women, and preventing gay people from getting married.
I’m sorry, but I’m proudly pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. For me, and for a lot of young people not burdened by the prejudices of the past, if that means that my beliefs leave no room for me in organized “Christianity”, well then I guess that’s OK. That doesn’t mean that I can’t hold certain faith-based beliefs, and it doesn’t mean that I can’t live a life devoted to being, and doing, good. If that’s called secularism, well then, why is secularism such a bad thing?