Usually, when people say they’re not religious, they’re looking to pick a fight or at least start an argument. That’s probably because people who identify themselves as atheists or agnostics are often as dogmatic as Cotton Mather and have merely made a religion of their own non-belief.
In my case, however, religion simply plays no role in my life. Or perhaps I should say institutionalized religion, seeing as how I very much subscribe to the Judeo-Christian value system. It’s the reason that I’m so grateful that two sets of Russian Jewish grandparents had the guts to pack up their kids and caboodle, and move to America.
Unfortunately, they and many others like them included in their baggage several hundred years worth of religious antagonisms. In far too many cases, these fears and prejudices, although initially well-founded, have been passed along like precious heirlooms from one generation to the next.
Even among some of my friends and relatives, there are those who half-expect their Christian neighbors to start organizing pogroms any day now. They remain unconvinced that Hitler and the Nazis were pagans. And even when I point out that it was American and British soldiers, mainly Christians, who brought down the Third Reich and liberated the concentration camps, it often falls on deaf ears.
So, although I do not accept that we are all fallen creatures or that Jesus Christ died for my sins, I am thankful that I live in a Christian nation. I realize that it’s only my dumb luck to be an American. The fact of the matter is that when it comes to one’s religion, it is usually determined by geography, not by choice. If you’re born in Japan, you are likely to be a Buddhist; if you’re born in Italy, you’re likely to be a Roman Catholic; in India, a Hindu; in England, an Anglican; in Utah, a Mormon; and in New York City, a liberal.
This is not to suggest that, even in my eyes, all religions are equally valid. You’d have to be one of those non-judgmental pinheads who sound the trumpets for cultural diversity, pretending to believe that all nations, all religions and all ideologies, are equally good and equally bad. So long as Islam is around, only an idiot could seriously promote such nonsense.
Muslims are people who believe that freedom is a naughty word, who believe that women are no better than cattle, and who refer to the ninth century as the good old days. It was bad enough when they used a newspaper cartoon as an excuse to go berserk. Now they’re outraged because of a Sudanese teddy bear. These Neanderthals actually wanted to torture and execute English school teacher Gilliam Gibbons because, at the behest of a seven-year-old in her class, she named the stuffed toy Muhammad.