I've been having a few more preachy pieces of crap shoved in my face recently. As Katie will verify, my attitude to religion basically echoes VJack's: treat it as you would treat your genitals, including deciding whether or not to show it off in public, let it guide governments or expose it to children.
One of the more ridiculous questions I get asked, and I'm sure I'm not the only one, is 'Well what do you believe in?' - as if I have to believe in something, anything, in order to fit into their perception of the world.
An instant gut reaction to that is, frankly, that I don't want to fit into their perception of the world. Their perception on the world includes eternal torture for nonbelievers, as well as being spied on constantly by a higher intelligence that knows when you're wanking. Their perception of reality can get stuffed, I want no part of it.
Besides, I don't have to believe in anything. No one believes in the sun, or chairs, or Sigourney Weaver or any empirically real things. If something needs to be believed in to have an impact on your life, then maybe it's useless; if it has a demonstrable effect on your fortunes or personal happiness then you don't need to believe it exists, whereas if it doesn't, then why believe it exists at all? (One idiot told me his faith in God made his life better and therefore I'd just proven God exists; I told him he'd just proven his faith exists, which is hardly the same thing and kind of points him out as a moron.)
I've also had it pointed out to be that without the idea of angels painting flowers by hand and shit like that I cannot possibly have a sense of awe, or even beauty, about the world. To that retarded claim I submit this utterly beautiful song:
Shut your eyes and see where that takes you. To me it's awe, and distance, and permanence, in sonic form - and no gods are involved. Some would say that God put that music into the head of the composer - but the composer is a woman called Yoko Kanno, and if the Bible were the basis of world law she would never have been allowed an education. So fuck 'em.
So many things are beautiful already. This planet is by no means a closed system (in your face, thermodynamic-law-wielding creationtards) but even on its own, even just through sunlight and time, it has produced more things than any human could ever hope to document - let alone explain in the Bronze Age, by sitting in a tent and writing rules on how to live as part of their tribe. And a relative handful of apes who have deluded themselves into thinking a piece of nomad-authored literature from before anyone thought of putting yeast in bread has all the answers? Not gonna change anything. Especially when that piece of literature has been translated and retranslated through multiple languages, and rewritten over time to include things like resurrected sons of gods put together from other prophetic figures, all in languages that were evolved to scream defiance at the monkeys in the next tree or tell one another where the ripe fruit was - and despite all that, it still has giant glaring inaccuracies that include two different genealogies for Jesus on his father's side (which obviously contradicts the idea that Joseph was not his biological father since he was born from a virgin, let alone one of them having about half again as many generations from start to finish)...yeah. Totally inerrant word of God there, guys. Especially the King James Version, used by many as the Irrefutable Original Word Of God despite it saying KING JAMES' VERSION on the cover.
All of this is wrong with the book they base their life on, and they're quibbling that I can't find any awe? I'll tell you what I find awe-inspiring: the mental gymnastics these people hurl themselves into to even say this shit to me. Is coherence too much to ask?