Before anyone tries to throw me to the lions or something, I’d like to clarify…

I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I am not a religious person by ANY stretch of the imagination. However that doesn’t mean I am anti-religion. Well OK, I am certainly anti-religion for ME (grin) and with that, whether you like it or not, comes my dabbling in mild blasphemy, both in speech (if I’m not on “good behavior,” the terms “OMG,” “GD,” etc., will frequently be heard out of my mouth) and in a silly, good-natured “Religious Collection” that runs the gamut from a “Jesus Saves” piggy bank to “Pope on a Rope” soap to a Virgin Mary statue made out of shells (a.k.a. “Mary on the Half Shell”) . But in my 40-something years of life, I’ve had scores of friends and relatives whose participation (or non-participation) in their preferred flavor of religion has run the gamut from devout to atheist. And that’s all fine, as far as I’m concerned. If believing in and praying to a god, gods, goddess, spirit, higher being or WHATEVER it is, gives you a sense of peace or hope or any sort of “warm fuzzies,” I strongly feel there should be more power to you. I’m certainly not narcissistic enough to believe that just because religion doesn’t fit into my lifestyle, that it doesn’t mean I feel it shouldn’t be a source of comfort for others, if that’s what they choose to believe. And as long as you’re OK with my being a non-believer, I’m certainly fine with your believing. HOWEVER the second a religion, ANY religion, believes select individuals within or without their own membership should be second-class citizens, it will be a bone of contention for me. If ANY religion even TRIES to have an effect on those outside of said religion, I have a problem with it. THOSE are the issues I detest and will continue to speak against.

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