So let's start 2013 with a highly personal and possibly controversial posting. We shall see how this sits with some people...
As I get older, my tolerance for religion and those that believe in God has faded rather quickly. I have long felt that, for someone to give their life to a fantasy based on ancient rumours just baffles me. And therefore, I know that my respect for those that follow religion has reach a low. However. I do recognise that this makes me a bad person and I should get over myself and be more understanding. I have taken it all a bit far.
It makes me a bad person because I should appreciate their opinions, even if I think their views are ludicrous, misguided and unsound. I know a couple of people that have a faith and their religion doesn't and shouldn't influence me, but deep down it does at the moment. Their faith gives them strength which can be a good thing.
Despite the inherent hatred and mistrust built into most religion's rules, there are some valid "good news aims for life". You can't argue with teachings saying that we should really try to be nice to each other (maybe Muslims and Jewish neighbours should remind themselves of that) and that sharing and caring will always be needed. So let's all follow the teachings of Jesus Christ as he seemed to be a nice guy and had some good things to say (and no, he didn't walk on water!).
You see, for me religion is just fantasy and superstition based on centuries of misinformed guesswork and a need for an answer to the big questions. Despite no proof and personal opinions influencing religion over many generations, people believe in this fantasy. Surely there is no difference between believing in Fairies, Santa Claus and believing in a God that provides zero proof of existence. It's all blind faith.
I should respect views other than my own; even the strange practice of praying must be overlooked (let's face it, praying has never ever ever made a difference and deep down, people know that). And those that thank their God, with the belief that "he" has helped them win a sports game or to cook a meal are conveniently forgetting that if he really had those super powers, he would not have allowed a child to die from cancer.
I'm getting off the topic now... Although I don't believe, I really shouldn't see people that DO believe as fools. With zero proof, ANYTHING could be the truth and so I should respect their choices.
I have no problem with broad teachings of being good to your fellow man, so let's follow those rules even if we don't "believe".
So I am now actively looking to be more broadminded and respectful. It will make me happier I am sure and allow me to overlook what I have seen as other peoples failings.