I don’t think you do. In fact, I can almost guarantee you that you don’t. What am I talking about? Here, let me put things in context for you.
I’ve seen quite a few people on the internet (and perhaps a few in real life) who say that a world without religion would be much better. I want you think long and hard about that statement. Long and hard. Now, sure, a lot of the people who say stuff like that are internet trolls with no lives who want to get people riled up, but I’m willing to bet that at least a few of them are serious.
Let me ask you this: What would it take to get rid of religion? How far would you be willing to go to make sure the word “god” is never spoken on this planet again? This is a serious question. I want to know. I think that if you thought hard, “far” would be a lot further than you’ve ever dreamed.
I am a Christian. Now, do you want to know what it would take to get me to renounce my beliefs in Jesus? Death. You have to kill me. In other words, I’m not taking back a word of my faith. I believe whole-heartedly in God, and nothing you say to me will change that.
There are many, many lukewarm believers out there from all faiths–they’re usually the ones who will say, “Oh, I’m not religious.” A lot of them would probably renounce their beliefs before they allowed someone to shoot them. But I know there are millions upon millions of people out there–Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, you name it–that would sooner die they say their god (or gods) doesn’t exist. In fact, many have died and are dying all for their faith over the world, but that’s a topic for another time.
My point is, you would have to hold us against a wall and machine gun us down before we give up our faith and stop worshipping. Are you willing to go there? You would have to kill millions before you’d get this “utopia” you imagine.
What I have to say next is sensitive and dangerous, but after a lot of careful thinking, I’ve decided that it’s pretty accurate. I’m sorry if this offends you, but it’s time for some brutal honesty.
You want to know who else said, “Hey, let’s get rid of (a) religion?” Adolf Hitler. Yup, I said it, and I’m not taking it back. While I was studying World War II this year, I found some shocking parallels between his ideas and the ideas of our world today.
“The Jews are responsible for Germany’s economic crisis.”
“Religion is responsible for all the wars.”
“The Jews are evil and only care about themselves.”
“Religious people are evil and only care about themselves.”
“The Jews should be wiped off the face of the earth.”
“Religion should be wiped off the face of the earth.”
Of course, none of these things are true. Jews were not responsible for Germany’s economic crisis, and religion is not responsible for all the wars (WWII is a case in point). People still believed the lies, however. People still believe those lies today.
We all know what happened to the Jews. Over six million were killed, and it’s still considered one of the evilest acts in history.
The point? If you want to get rid of religion, you will have to start another Holocaust. You will have to pick up your guns and mow us down like we’re not worth anything. If you want religion gone, you’ve got a lot of messy, bloody work ahead of you. But hey, I’m sure history will thank you for getting rid of religion. I mean, look how it thanked Hitler for getting rid of all those Jews. Wait . . .
I got a new idea for a book recently based off of this whole idea. If I have time someday, I’d definitely love to write it and show the world what getting rid of religion really looks like. The working title is “Extermination Plan,” and the main characters are a young Christian pastor and a teenage Muslim girl. They have to fight for their freedom and rights in a futuristic, dystopian world shockingly similar to WWII era Europe, where practicing religion of any kind is a crime punishable by death. Or they could be sent to “work camps” where people are slaughtered by the dozens. It’s not a pleasant world, obviously, and so the story would revolve around the two of them trying to find hope and peace in all of the trails.
That is the kind of world you would create if you tried to get rid of religion. And you can tell me that religion will die out slowly, if you’d like, but you and I both know that’s not going to happen. We’re too big to be destroyed. I can’t speak for all religions, but Christianity has been around for 2000 years, and even when the Romans massacred the Christians–who were much fewer in number then than they are now–we stuck around. Sorry, buddy, but we’re here to stay.
I won’t say all followers of a religion are perfect. They’re not. We’re human, just like you, okay? We mess up. People kill people over religion. There are wars and violence because of it. You thought I would deny that? You’re sadly mistaken. But (from a Christian perspective) that’s not God’s fault. (Or religion’s fault, for that matter.) I know the Christian God is perfect, and I am but a foolish sinner. So are all of us. We ruin our reputation and do awful things. Why do you feel the need to take it out on all the particulars of religion who have been living peacefully all this time?
One more thing before I wrap this up. The world you imagine without religion isn’t as great as you might think. Yup, here’s the “religion is morality” card, though I’m not going to take it to quite that extreme. I believe atheists are capable of living peacefully and (mostly) morally. But what do you do when there are atheists who won’t live peacefully? Say there’s a man who kills his coworker because his coworker was annoying him. Is he really at fault? After all, he felt like the only way he could made the other guy shut up was to kill him. Was it so wrong for him to follow his feelings? (Sound familiar?) How can you possibly fault a man for murdering someone in that case? It’s discrimination tell him he can’t do something, even if he really, really wants to! In short, there may be some shred of morality left without religion, but I assure you that whatever immorality there is in the world will quickly suffocate it. And anyway, if you had to murder millions of Christians, Jews, and Muslims to get to this all-atheist world, what’s one more person, right? I’m calling double standard here.
I’m going to ask you again: Do you really want this? Do you really want to start a second Holocaust just to get rid of something you think is annoying? Do you really want to murder millions just so you can have your way? Do you really want to live in a world without us? Do you really want to commit another great evil, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the days of Hitler?
Think long and hard. Do you really want this?
I think you don’t.