Not a rant about religion.
A rant about choosing.
A couple of things...
Apparently we have been given the gift of free will. Presumably we are supposed to use this.
Apparently man is not supposed to judge his fellow man, infringement on God's law is for God to decide.
In some senses religion is becoming almost farcical in the public eye. Because quite a few of the 'loud zealots' as I like to think of them quite clearly haven't put a hell of a lot of thought into either their behaviour or their doctrine.
Because the first thing that almost all the loud zealots do is pass judgement on other peoples decisions, and as far as I can see that means they are breaking God's law themselves.
When it comes right down to it, I don't really give a flying monkey's what other people believe as long as they aren't inflicting those beliefs on others. I don't object to be being told about your set of beliefs (in fact I rather like it since I have a bit of a fetish for knowledge) I only object when you start insisting that I live according to your beliefs rather than my own. You can think my beliefs are wrong, you can even try to change my mind about it. But the moment you start judging me for them, well you can piss off.
Religious law is DIFFERENT to judicial law. I'm all for a well maintained judicial system, and all for communities living within the strictures of those laws. Religious law is for the followers of that religion, if I don't follow your religion I am not bound to follow your religious laws. The opposite side of that coin is that I don't get to make you stand by my beliefs either. You can WANT me to follow your religious beliefs all you like, but if I don't believe the same things as you then I don't have any motivation to follow them. You can tell me that you believe my soul will be damned to the pits of hell for all eternity for what I believe, but because I don't believe the same things as you I don't have to fear for my soul.
Let me try to put this in the simplest terms I can, because I can almost see you sticking your fingers in your ears and going 'lalalalalala can't hear you' right now. Let's say you tell me that you think green tomato relish is totally awesome and with some nice cheese and crackers is the best thing ever. Lets say I believe that God has pronounced that we shall not eat vegetables before they are fully ripe. But you believe that if it's edible then God's ok with you eating it. So I say to you 'God will smite thee for eating of the tomato before it's time'. And you laugh and say don't be ridiculous, it's edible, why would God have a problem with me eating it? You see my belief that you will be punished for breaking God's law doesn't affect you in the slightest because you don't believe the same thing I do.
OK, I can hear you thinking it already.... 'but I'M RIGHT'. Who cares? I think I'm right. When it comes down to it until I'm standing in front of God with a green tomato relish sandwich in my hand IT DOESN'T MATTER WHO'S RIGHT. At all. And you know what, I have this feeling that if it turns out that I'm completely wrong and THERE IS A GOD, he/she is going to be almightily pissed off at all the judging you people have been doing.
You can feel free to think what I'm doing is wrong (I'm sure I do any number of things that you think are wrong) but unless I'm breaking the law of the community then go away and feel sorry for my eternal soul and let me get on with my depraved lifestyle. Rest assured that God will cut me to ribbons when it turns out you are right. But stop thinking it's any of your business to interfere with my choices simply because you don't agree with them.
What is the point of giving us free will if you people are just going to force me to do things the way you think God's wants us to? And let me be very very clear here, it is what YOU think God wants, this is not the same thing as doing it because you actually KNOW what God wants us to do. You think you know. That is all. That is what religion is built on, your belief in your understanding of how the world works. Your faith. If you can't manage to follow the rules yourself, why are you trying so hard to make everyone else do it?
Here's my suggestion. Calm down, get yourself a nice cup of tea (or whatever drink you're most comfortable with) and settle down with your religious texts. Have a really good read through them, because I do not think they mean what you think they mean. After you've read them, have a really good THINK about what it all means, and what your part in it should be. And most importantly of all, have a really good think about what you think God might think of your behaviour.
Because persecution is SO five minutes ago.
Next time you're passing an abortion clinic, maybe think about the 10 year old raped by her uncle who really should not have to bear his child.
Next time you see two guys holding hands in the park, maybe remember how it feels to hold the hand of the person you love the most.
Next time you're talking to your children about your beliefs remember that you are shaping a young mind.
Next time you pass a church of a different faith remember that they believe just as strongly as you do.
Next time you don't like someone else's choice, remember that YOU choose how you react to that.
If everyone believes the same things, if everyone thinks the same thoughts, if everyone knows the same things, what is the point of existence? If we cannot learn from our mistakes, what are they for? If we don't stop and examine our beliefs sometimes then our faith is blind, and rendered meaningless.