Say you have religious beliefs. I’m totally fine with that. Say you have political beliefs that you hold dear. I’m fine with that too. But dear God, don’t combine the two when you’re in government. You’ll want to shove your beliefs down the nation’s throat, and that’s very harmful in a free society, because everyone has the right to freedom of religion and freedom of speech, even you. If you’re not in government, you can safely mix the two together as long as you don’t brag that your beliefs are the “right” way, when as far as I’m concerned, none of them are the “true way”.
On to why I think having no religious or political loyalties is a good thing. These are two different things, so I’ll split this into two.
Why I have no religious loyalties (and why it’s good)
Let me start by clearing one thing up. I know plenty about religion, but I am in fact an atheist. And no, I’m not one of those arrogant “new atheists”, like Richard Dawkins, and the late Christopher Hitchens. I’m probably one of the last rational atheists around. Either that, or there’s more of us, but they aren’t shown in the media. Furthermore, atheism does not count as a religion. Therefore, being an atheist is not a religious loyalty.
I actually prefer being an atheist because I didn’t like being a Christian. There was only one point in my life when you could call me anything close to Christian, the time when I was 9, after leaving Boston Higashi School. Because I thought I was supposed to, I’d go to church on Sundays (including the Sunday school), hymns and all. The atmosphere in church was actually what made me eventually quit Church. Especially when they were singing the hymns. I have a feeling that hymns were hammering home the message that I may have to die someday. How do you think I would have felt at such an age, especially with the concept of going to Hell on my shoulders?
Since then, I grew to hate the concept of being made to believe something that I don’t believe deep down. When I was 10, I wasn’t too shy about getting angry about it, but not in the sophisticated way that I do now. But just because I’m an atheist doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate Christmas. I’ve been doing it for a long time, and I didn’t need religion to do it. This is why I think it’s good to be an atheist; you don’t have to tie yourself to a particular set of rules, especially if you don’t really believe you can follow them. We all have needs, and if I were religious, those needs would be suppressed, and would be bottled up until they grew to sick, twisted levels. That’s what happens to everyone with a religion, whether you’re Christian, Hindu, or even Mormon. As an atheist, I feel like I’m free to do whatever I wanted, and it didn’t cheese off God.
Yet, I sort of feel that God would be far happier with us as a species if we were ourselves. God probably isn’t a physical being who lives in the sky. If God is a strange, intangible feeling we have inside us, then it just wouldn’t care.
Why I have no political loyalties (and why it’s good)
My politics has actually flip-flopped overtime. When I was a kid, I just believed whatever didn’t see me carrying the bricks of guilt and shame. In my early teens, I was a committed liberal; opposing racism wherever it was, but when I was 15, that liberalism was rather pathetic. It was the same liberalism shown by the populist media, the kind which I despise today. Added to that, when I was 16, the last UK election came along. I wasn’t old enough to vote yet, but I was clearly in support of the Liberal Democrats (something I’m ashamed of to this day). Keep in mind, this is the same party which is now in cahoots with the conservatives.
As I got older I was a more rational liberal, with various influences contributing to my beliefs. However, after I turned 18, I came to the realization that all political sides are a bunch of con artists after your trust, so they can exploit it. None of them have your interests at heart, contributing to my complete lack of faith in politics, and politicians in general.
And yet, it’s good that I don’t support any political beliefs, because if you don’t support any politician, or any party, then you won’t be falling for their dastardly tricks. Best of all, I can say whatever I want without the worry that I’m somehow “betraying my ideology”. Politics in general turns good people into horrible monsters, and can somehow destroy entire friendships, and rip people apart. Yes, I still hate conservatism, but I hate liberalism even worse than before, primarily because of the false moralism. Without a political loyalty, my mind is free, my morals are real, and I’m not a part of what is essentially just a global-scale version of a toddler’s whinging that does nothing good for humanity. Also, because I feel no obligation to vote, I don’t feel like I’m a cog in the infernal machine of politics.
Even though these are my beliefs, I think anyone can benefit from a lack of religious or political loyalties. If it can do a world of good for me, imagine what it can do for someone else. Then again, you are the one who really chooses your beliefs. Nobody can do that for you, not even me. What choice did you make, and how do feel about it?