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Religion as an excuse

I'm an atheist, but I try not to begrudge people their own personal beliefs. I like to think I get it. Sometimes (a lot of the time) life sucks and it would be nice to think that it gets better. Sometimes I wish I could believe in something greater and better, but I don't.

Why, then, do people use this as an excuse to be so shitty?! I'm not even talking about people using politics to push their religion on others. Even in the day-to-day some people use their religion as an excuse to do or not do small things that make a difference. I resent them because it colors my views on religion as a whole and I don't want to be the atheist equivalent. This is why it's scratching around in my brain today:

I took my kids to the park today, we are in an atheist parents meetup group and today is our regular park day. When we were getting ready to head out, my son came up to me with his empty water bottle and I said, "I'll take it, we can put it in the recycling bin when we get home." and told one of my group friends how excited I was that we recently got curbside recycling in my neighborhood. Another boy, who my older son had been playing with, said, "We don't recycle. You can't save the planet, it's just going to blow up when we all go to heaven." I was speechless and after a couple seconds he just ran off. I don't get that mentality. Even if you do believe in an afterlife, you're here now. Everyone ever is here first. This is supposed to be God's creation, right? You keep your house clean, your room clean, you don't destroy gifts that are given to you, you maintain your car, why treat the planet like it's disposable?! I feel guilty about buying that bottled water in the first place, I usually don't and I want to offset it when I can.

Illustration for article titled Religion as an excuse

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