Geekdom has the widest range of religious beliefs of any group in the world I think. I’m somewhere on the agnostic/atheist scale, depending on exactly how you define the words. My friends in Fandom include at least the following: Wiccans, Pagans, Neo-Pagans, Asatru, Atheists, Agnostics, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Mormons, and a host of others maybe. I don’t know mostly because I don’t generally care. If your belief works for you that is all that matters to me in general.
I do know I have an unusually large percentage of Mormons in my group, I have no idea why. I have a couple of very hard core Christians, one or two militant Atheists but, for the most part, most of them are very laid back about their beliefs. Even the ones who aren’t laid back are also not in your face most of the time. What I am going to talk about today are the exceptions.
You see, I don’t think militant religion has any place in Fandom, not that you should hide it but, that it shouldn’t override or drive your behavior as a fan. No, I am not saying you should hide your beliefs, nor that they should be set aside. I am saying that they are YOUR beliefs, not a command to others that must obey and follow. Simple fact of the matter is that religion is unimportant to those who don’t follow it. If you try to impose it upon people they will rebel, this goes double for fans.
I often find myself in the odd position as an agnostic of defending Christians. Most people consider the less mainstream religions odd enough not to attack them. Christians these days come under unfair attacks from the left and militant Atheists. Who don’t seem to understand that their beliefs should not be pushed any more than the Christians beliefs.
Mormons, the last few months, make up another group that gets attacked unfairly. For some reason the idiot side of Fandom has decided that Mormon is an insult and trumps anything else. I have trouble understanding that. While not one myself, or even being sure of the details of their religion, Mormons always seemed like good people to me in my dealings with them. Well, when I knew the people were Mormons. After all, most of the time I don’t know or care.
The one group that really bugs me are my fellow non-believers. Well that isn’t exactly true, they claim to be non-believers while being militant asses. I hear claims from Atheists that they get attacked for their beliefs, or lack thereof. I have been a non-believer all my adult life, and lived in the Bible belt most of it. I have never been attacked for it. Most believers, of any stripe, don’t care that you don’t believe. Other than worrying that you are missing out on the afterlife of course.
There are a couple of my Christian friends that do get on their high horses occasionally. Usually on a couple of specific topics. Either when Christianity is being attacked, or on the subject of abortion, which they consider murder. I can actually understand the defense and the distaste for what they consider murder, so i don’t usually get upset by them. Usually.
Militant Atheists on the other hand seem to think it is their mission in life to attack Christians. For some reason they don’t seem to care about the other religions. And trust me, if you believe in a god, calling god a Great Sky Fairy is an attack. And a rather insulting one as well. If you have used that term don’t tell me, I will automatically assume you are a worthless ass and treat you with the contempt you deserve. Being an Atheist should mean that you realize people with beliefs are slightly deluded. It should not mean that they are people you should attack. After all, while there are no proofs of the existence of gods, you have no proof of the non existence either. Saying otherwise makes you just as deluded as as those you disparage.
Basically my belief boil down to respect. Respect that others believe differently than you do. Respect their beliefs, even if you don’t share them. Most importantly, don’t be an ass.