Freedom FROM Religion

First I want to apologize for any misuse of names, words or phrases.  I am not a religious scholar and have not studied any of these religions.  My information comes simply from observation, what I've read in news stories and what I've experienced first hand. I ask that any misuse not be taken as offensive.  That is not my intent.

Over the last three days I have been really sick.  Hubby brought the flu bug home and I've been stuck coughing, sneezing and reading on the internet.  I try not to take a lot of medications so I've been fighting this thing with herbal tea, egg drop and chicken noodle soup.  Yesterday the news came across regarding an attack on Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine in Paris.  Paris has a large population of Muslims who believe that any depiction of Allah at all is blasphemy.  Drawings, that here in the United States and in other countries around the world, would be considered harmless are deemed worth of death by some.

Today in USA Today an editorial piece was posted stating that people knew what they were getting into when they poke fun at radical groups.  The article asserted that the magazine was aware of the feelings their work produced and in turn actually provoked the attack.  Taunting followers into retaliating against them and causing their own deaths.  Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League followed with a statement that said, "Muslims are right to be angry." and "Had Charbonnier not been so narcissistic, he may still be alive." reported by the Washington Post.

I sit and think about what does it mean to be killed for drawing a picture, showing a movie or writing a book?  While I understand that people get offended at some point we need to grow.  I fast forward to this afternoon when I'm moderating some posts in a group I belong to on Facebook. I look at the post and my head cocks sideways.  There is a post where someone is actually praising Hecate for getting out of a speeding ticket.  My first thought was Tim Tebow and his end zone prayers.  Hecate did no more for getting my groupie out of his speeding ticket than Jesus did for helping Tim with his touchdown.

Herein lies the reason we have shootings over someone drawing a picture of Mohammad's butt. People cannot separate fantasy from reality.  They cannot separate a myth that teaches us a story from factual events.  I believe that everyone should have the right to believe what they want to believe.

That being said, I also understand that at no point did a woman with the head of a bull, a horse and a snake walk the earth.  At no time did a Titan Goddess stand up next to Zeus and defeat the other Titans to defend Olympus. At no time did Helios see Persephone taken by Hades into the underworld and cause the beginning of winter.  These are stories to explain what we could not explain. Jesus is not the reason for the season, the tilt of the earth is. I adore Hecate.  I love to read the stories of her and follow how many different civilizations followed her.   I have two altars to her in my house and one outside my house.  I light candles and incense to her in a daily devotional.  I do this to remind me that I want to live my life to represent her virtues, not out of some fear that I must do it so that I don't get punished. I do it because I want to focus my energy on being a better person not because if I don't do it she will be angry with me.

So because I believe that Hecate never walked the earth does that make me an atheist? I don't know. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't.  It doesn't change the fact that when I think about cleaning out my closets that I don't think about giving to others because of what I read about her. Or putting out my food for the restless dead that accompany her.

Religion was created to explain things we did not understand.
Organized religion was created to rule over people who did not understand.

Until we accept that there are others out there who are not like we are, and we can let them be who they are without the need to destroy them, we will always have those who feel they need to slaughter others in the name of their god.  Until we can stop hurting each what we really need is freedom FROM religion.

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