I was scrolling down my Facebook feed when I saw an interesting status update from Huffington Post Religion that caught my attention. The post asked the following question:
“If you could get rid of one misconception about your religious / secular tradition, what would that be?”
First, I want to point out that they actually included “secular tradition.” That is a big improvement. It shows that they recognize that not everyone is religious and that secular individuals often face many of the same issues that religious believers deal with. In this case, those issues are misconceptions.
There were about 150 comments left on this post and I read pretty much all of them. I learned a lot too. For starters, there are a lot of atheists who commented on the post. Also, there were more Wiccans, Pagans, and Buddhists than I thought there would be.
Christians generally commented that they didn’t like the misconception that they were all right wing fundamentalists who take the Bible literally and are anti-gay. I get that. But I take issue with a metaphorical interpretation of the Bible too. Plus, there are parts of the Bible that even those believers who claim not to take the Bible literally, still believe literally even though those beliefs are ridiculously silly and fly in the face of science and common sense.
Catholics didn’t like the misconceptions that they agree lockstep with the Pope, that the Pope is infallible, and that priests fuck children. They lost me at that last one. I don’t think that is a common misconception. I think that is a common fact. The misconception is that Catholics aren’t supporting these pedophiles by supporting the Catholic Church. How do you think the church has the money to send these offending priests all over the world to avoid prosecution?
The misconception that Muslims are violent and oppress women seems to bother a lot for Muslims. I’ll give them a pass on the first part but not the second. Islam (even liberal Islam) still oppresses women. It’s just a difference of degrees.
The Mormons mentioned all the usual misconceptions. They don’t consider themselves a cult nor do they like when people bring up polygamy. I’ll give them a pass on the second part, but not on the first. Okay, I’ll give them half a pass on the first. If you compare Mormonism to all the other religions and single out Mormonism as a cult, that is just not cool. But if you bring up that all religions are cults, then I am right there with you.
As for atheists, most of us seem to put that we disliked the misconception that we were immoral and the misconception that we are certain or have to somehow prove that a particular deity doesn’t exist. I have to admit that I also posted those comments before I read through the entire thread and saw that all the other atheists pretty much said the same thing.
What misconceptions get on your nerves?
- Roy Speckhardt: When Will We Have More Open Atheists in Congress? (huffingtonpost.com)
- Gallup: ‘Nones’ still on the rise (examiner.com)
- The Media Is Doing It Wrong: Rise of the ‘Nones’ (skepticink.com)
- American Atheists sue the IRS for equality (examiner.com)
- The Open Market of Ideas (skepticink.com)
- Liberal Talk Show Host Claims Atheism Is A Religion (skepticink.com)