Saturday, November 14, 2015

Pray for Paris

I'm a Facebook junkie. I'll freely admit it. And if you are anything like me, you'll often come across something on your newsfeed that you disagree with. Facebook and all social media platforms are full of controversy. They thrive on it. It's how they survive. I have perfected the art of ignoring and scrolling down whenever I see something that contradicts my own beliefs. I try not to get involved in comment wars over differences in opinion. We're all human. We're all allowed to have different opinions, and we're all allowed to share those opinions on whatever platform we choose. Today is different. This morning I saw something that made me stop short. On this, I cannot remain silent.

We are all mourning for the lives lost in the attacks throughout Paris. I know because my Facebook has exploded with pictures and posts and hashtags of support for our allies. Every person has their own way of expressing their love to Paris. I was feeling nothing but love and unity and support while I was scrolling, until I ran across this picture.

I'm not offended easily. I always try to take a step back and think about where a person is coming from. I don't always succeed at being open-minded, but I try. This is easily the most offensive thing I have ever seen on Facebook. Regardless of how you feel about prayer or religion or God, you should not tell other people how to deal with this tragedy. Especially not one day after the events. That is not tactful. That is not compassionate. And if I'm being honest, that is not ok.

For who knows what reason, I decided to look at the comments on this picture. I suppose I was looking for someone to say what I was feeling so I could like it, and move on. No one did. In fact, because the picture wasn't bad enough, I found this:

I pulled this from the Eagles of Death Metal FB page under the comments section stating the band and crew were safe, couldn't agree more:

"Until we eradicate ALL religion from our lives, our species will NEVER be truly free, and we will continue to enjoy human beings slaughtering their fellow human beings over nothing more than whose intellectually and morally offensive, primitive, fear-based fairy tales are the only "true" fairy tales (and which therefore allegedly justify such subhuman behavior). Condolences to all involved; hopefully our species will soon realize that here in the 21st Century, we no longer need religion -- and the type of knuckle-dragging bigotry and barbarism it promotes and justifies -- any more. "

Guys. I have nothing against atheists. I have many atheist friends including some of the people I love the most in this world. We respect each others beliefs and opinions and we discuss them openly. So, please correct me if I am wrong here. I get why many atheists hate religion. There is a lot of hypocrisy, bigotry, and violence in the name of God(s). From what I understand many atheists have problems with religion because of their intolerance on a myriad of issues. 

To me, that comment is intolerant of those of us who are religious. Religious people do not hold a monopoly on hypocrisy, bigotry, violence, or intolerance. In my opinion whoever wrote that comment is not being very open-minded. They may not need religion, but that doesn't mean that no one does. Every person on this planet is an individual and it is their right to decide how to live their life. We need to stop generalizing and grouping people together based on one category of their lives. We are all guilty of it, including me, and it needs to stop. 

What I am coming to understand is that just like there are religious extremists who give all religions a bad name, there are atheistic extremists who give atheism a bad name. I would never tell one of my non-religious friends exactly how to deal (or not deal) with this tragedy. They are allowed to grieve in their own way. Please allow me to grieve in mine. So regardless of how anyone else feels about it, I will pray that the violence and intolerance of this world will one day come to an end. I will pray that one day we will all be able to live together in harmony. I will pray for Paris.

I apologize if this post offends anyone. I tried to keep it as open-minded and non-biased as I could. If you want to discuss it with me, I am happy to have a conversation with you about it. I do ask that we try to avoid negativity and talk about things rationally and respectfully. Thanks for reading.

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