…is simple humility.
I see christians constantly speaking for god, pretending to know god’s will, thinking they know what god knows about every damn thing there is, and thinking that whatever pops into their heads when they read a bible passage is automatically what not only the author meant, but what god personally wants them to get out of it.
If I were a christian I wouldn’t be caught dead doing any of those things. Why is it that pretending to know the mind of god strikes me, an atheist, as being more blasphemous than it does a believer? I hear preachers and evangelists praise god and use all kinds of analogies to that effect – they say things like “god is so beyond us that we can no more understand his ways than an ant can understand algebra”. Then why do you pound the pulpit and tell us his ways every week in minute detail? His opinion on every subject, his will, his morals, how bad he’s gonna fuck some people up and how much he’s gonna reward other people.
Even if there were a god and the bible was “inspired” somehow, people still pretend to understand things they don’t understand and pretend to know things nobody could know. If I were a christian I would treat the bible as a mystery, not an instruction manual for how to be superior to people. Believers proclaim things as absolute fact and say it’s the holy spirit guiding them, but the holy spirit seems to tell everybody something different and the holy spirit a lot of the time seems to be a bigot and a moron.
If you see two gay people and you feel revulsion, you might think that’s the holy spirit telling you that homosexuality is wrong. But maybe you’re just a bigot. Maybe you’re just freaked out by gay people the way people are freaked out by spiders, or grossed out the way people gag at the thought of certain foods. Or maybe you were just raised to see homosexuality that way. Your grandparents’ generation felt the same way about interracial couples, the nazis felt the same way about jews. Is it the holy spirit whispering in their ear? I don’t know that god isn’t “inspiring” homophobes and anti-semites.. But I don’t know that it is either, and neither do you or anybody else.
I’m not saying throw your beliefs in the garbage or come be an atheist, I honestly don’t care if you do or not. But please whatever you believe in life, stop and wonder about it now and then. Ask yourself “how do I know this?” or “do I know this?” Or “is this hurtful to anyone?” Because what we believe matters more than gold and silver. At the end of the day it’s what we believe that decides our actions, and our actions decide the kind of world we live in.
So please don’t just go through life thinking you have all the answers. Because whether there is a god or not we are ignorant children stumbling around in the dark looking for truth and meaning. And to me that calls for some humility.