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Call the holiday whatever you like

It irks me when the religious zealots proclaim all must adhere to their beliefs.

Call the holiday whatever you like

Here we go again. We are being told what we can and cannot say at this time of year. It irks me when the religious zealots proclaim that they are the chosen ones and all must adhere to their beliefs.

I am a reformed Catholic who acknowledges the science that we are a random collection of star stuff. Organized religion was formed to justify our existence on the planet and had to come up with an origin story, hence the diverse spread of each culture’s beliefs. Each proclaims that they are the only true religion and have decimated the population over centuries to make their point.

Peace, love and goodwill are appropriate sentiments, if actually practiced. Rather than celebrating their chosen god, mea culpa for all present and past practices to bring their beliefs to the unwashed, who are deemed to be pagans, should be the order of the day and every day in between. Making the world in your own image has caused irreparable damage. Just because the majority believe in something does not give the right to force it on others.

What is considered to be the historical realities and traditions were co-opted from many cultures to make it more palatable and enticing so that those cultures would accept the new religion. Missionaries were sent out to convince the heathens that, without accepting this new religion, they would be sent to hell. To frighten them, all manner of terrible things would happen if they did not commit. They even came up with purgatory. That would be even more convincing. Forever damned to rot and not being able to reach their heaven. All made up stories.

When I went to school, the nuns would drive this home repeatedly and you would have nightmares about what happens when you die. I don’t think of that anymore as we will be just dust particles. War, disease or some catastrophic solar event will cause our demise and we will return from whence we came. Star stuff.

I pity the extraterrestrials that may reach our planet or that we make it to them. How will our religious beliefs stack up? They may have their own and may try to pull the same stunt of coercing our species that theirs is the true and only one that must be followed. Something to think about. We are but a speck in the universe and should not be so adamant in the belief that we are special and no one else is out there. It is a trivial matter over how one should greet another.

Say whatever you want and ignore this lambasting that occurs every year.

Ed Aiken

Cobble Hill