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Religion is a private matter

My husband has on his blog a little button that says Blog sans dieu (blog without God). One of the reasons I hesitated in putting a link to his blog claiming his Godless behind as my husband (meant to be funny) is that people reading my blog would read his blog and think that I think like him or he thinks like me. Not so.

I love my husband, but I have my own beliefs and thoughts in regard to a higher being than does he. Simple, yet not so simple at times. I will admit that as much as we agree to disagree on the subject of God, we do sometimes have strong words. C’est la vie, no???

It is usually because he thinks myself and other “believers” should respect his right to not believe. However, he has been known to make some sly remark about some silly person who believes that praying will save a life or get someone out of a tough situation, etc. I get angry because if I and others must respect him, shouldn’t he respect us?

Since he has made such a strong stand on his non-belief of God, I want to make clear what I believe so as to not get mixed up in his non-belief.

I believe in God. No, let me be clearer. I believe in something that we as humans cannot define. I do not and never will believe in any religion. I think religion is manmade. Religion is how we as humans try to define the undefinable. Unfortunately, like with everything else, man puts his own twist and turn on his religion according to his culture, etc.

Many times God or religion is the cause of war. My view on this matter is that it is not God that wants war. It is man. Simply, another way man twists religion and his defintion of God to suit his wants and needs.

I don’t agree with my husband. However, he has the right to put what he wants on his blog. It is something he and I have agreed to disagree on, right? Well, you’d think so. You’d think I’d be o.k. with it. I’m not.

What bothers me is the reason he put it on his blog is because he is bothered that others put “I love Jesus” and other similiar stickers on their cars and misc. belongings. Fine. But, how is his no blog God button any different? Isn’t he being a fanatic, too? Isn’t he, actually, saying it is ok to advertise your personal opinion on this subject by putting the button on his blog while at the same time declaring that the reason he is putting up the button is to fight the fanatics. Because, according to him, it is not ok to advertise your personal opinion and push it on others. Doesn’t add up. And, I told him so.

The button is still there. So, I just told him he is a non-believing fanatic. I think he liked that I called him that. He is one warped guy. But, I love him.

My husband, for the most part, does respect my belief and I respect his non-belief. I will teach my children about what I know about all religions and my personal interpretation of God while encouraging them to learn about religion for themselves. My husband will teach them that there is no God and why he thinks this.

I don’t like when people show their religion or non-religion so openly. I think it should be your personal belief and you should keep it to yourself unless asked. Funny, to say that because I have had people in France ask me straight out if I believe in God. After I say yes they have a look of “of course you do you are American” on their face.

For me, it is kinda like them asking my views on abortion or the death penalty or sex. You just don’t ask about those things until you really know someone. Am I right?

Being American comes with a reputation and stereotypes just like any other nationality. So, let me set it straight for all the Americans out there.

Not all Americans believe in God and not all Americans believe in the same God.

Which is why I don’t agree with the whole in God we trust issue and the President being sworn in on any bible as well as many more issues on this matter.

It is complete separation of church and state for a reason. Otherwise, it is not a true democracy. How can all the people of one nation be represented when only one groups views and beliefs are being shoved down everyone elses throats? I don’t think that is possible.

The best is when I hear someone say, “If they don’t like it they can just go back.” Go back where? The “theys” are American. Americans telling other Americans to leave America if they don’t believe like the “majority” of Americans. Hmmmmmm. Something is fishy here.

By the way, America was founded on the freedom of religion (or non-religion). Not the freedom to force the majorities religion on all the rest of us, Americans.

You can see why I keep my beliefs to myself.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Thomas March 13, 2006, 10:54 pm

    I cannot talk for your husband as I dont know him, but in general france and religion is a subject very sensitive.

    Not only we are a secular nation but (and I have experienced it first hand with my step brother who is working for the socialist party) religion is a political issue.

    Let me explain, you probably noticed that communists in France are very visible (CGT, PCF) even if they represent less than 5% of the population. Well there is a socialist/communist mentality that will classify you as a kind of freak if you dont think or say something they consider politically correct… If you want a bit of control on illegal immigration you become some kind of Nazi, and if you say you believe in God, you are some kind of religious extremist. Marxism and religion are not compatible.

    I do hate it too, I am french and as you said (eventhough i was raised catholic) I believe in some superioir thing, hard to explain. Well I have noticed that Atheist are much more fanatic and enclined to judge you, no matter what are your position as long as you say you believe in God. “You believe in god oh i see you are from the conservative party”.

  • Wendy March 13, 2006, 11:07 pm

    Oh wow! I could have written this post about me. Really – The Ex and I had the exact same issue..he’s an atheist and I am a christian (although not part of any church or religion)..and he hated my beliefs – they were a huge bone of contention between us and it still is..yet he cannot explain why he doesn’t believe, nor can he substantiate his beliefs, whereas I can. I also teach my boys what I believe and it freaks him out completely but he has never been able to tell them why he thinks as he does.

    I agree that it is a bit unfair to criticise people who declare their belief in God – but it happens so frequently – it’s just not COOL to believe in a God…I also keep my beliefs close to my heart and don’t flash them around. Not ashamed or embarrassed by it but nobody is interested and I won’t bash people with it – it’s personal and it’s mine. Anyway we’re all adults and have decided what we want to believe so why should I go around trying to convince people otherwise? It wouldn’t get me anywhere, would it?

    Great post. You really have a way of worming out issues that matter.

  • kim March 13, 2006, 11:35 pm

    I think this was a wonderful post!
    Thomas always says to me, that a really strong marriage is one you can debate with, and you can generally tell when there is a strong couple, because they are comfortable with disagreeing. ( I also read this on a chapter in 60 million frenchman can’t be wrong)
    So often here, the dutiful wife agrees with the husband, so as not to “look” like they have a bad marriage.
    great post:)

  • Julie March 14, 2006, 12:50 am

    Hi there Pumkin Pie,

    In God we trust is on American money because our country started out very Christian. Don’t be upset, really its simply our history and heritage. Kind of like an historical monument that people let stand for the sake of history.

    I don’t know why people get upset. Anyone who believes anything is going to disagree with someone who doesn’t believe the same thing. It shows that we truly believe.

    There are some religions that will never agree with anyone, like Muslims. They believe in killing those who do not convert. Its in the Koran. There will always be fighting as long as there is believing. That’s what makes people, people; and not Relativists. Although, I don’t agree with violence.

    People who truly believe will always be concerned about those who don’t believe. It shows that their belief is real and strong. It shows that they are real people.

    How can we wonder through life without feeling some strong purpose inside of us? Maybe it is this insane desire for purpose that sometimes takes the face of religion that makes people fight one another (Muslims). Anyway, no one hates anyone (I hope). They just strongly believe what they believe. I really respect that. They’re are so many days in my own life that I envy those who feel a purpose. I keep losing mine, or maybe I don’t even have it yet…still only half alive, waiting for life to start. I guess. Maybe it will come with age.

  • Thomas March 14, 2006, 2:15 am

    Julie, I cannot let you say such nonsense..It appears that you have never studied religions to say what you say about islam… I think you should read the Quran, instead of just listening to fox news or cnn or some site on the internet stating one or 2 verses.

    The fact some fundamentalists uses the text to fight doesnt mean the religion is wrong. I would love you to tell me about the so called crusades or all the massacres in the name of the Bible, does that make Christians monsters?

  • Julie March 14, 2006, 3:17 am

    The Christians haven’t always done what their faith teaches. The New Testament changed the Old Testament philosophy of an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But there are evil people in every religion; that doesn’t make the religion bad. The medieval ages was a strange time for the Church.

    I know for a fact that the Islam religion believes to kill all those who do not convert. In the medieval ages they were much more strict about following that teaching. Now they are coming back to it forcefully again. I know they believe this because I’ve talked to professors and people who have studied in great detail the Koran and Islam.

    I don’t ever watch CNN because I don’t have a TV. I have a VCR; we can view movies, but we don’t have channels. I don’t believe in media garbage. I’m sorry Thomas, but I know what I’m talking about. If they are following their faith, they will be killing those who do not believe. I don’t believe the Christians were good to do what they did in the Medieval ages. And there are a lot of problems in the Church because of the bad people in it. That doesn’t mean that the principles of faith Catholics believe in are wrong. It means the people in the Church aren’t following the Christian beliefs.

    To believe something, and to follow through with you’re beliefs are two different things. It all comes down to the question of do you truly believe or don’t you. If you believe then you spell out you’re belief in actions. If you don’t believe then people know by you’re actions, or lack of them.

  • cj March 14, 2006, 3:20 am

    Erick absolutely hates the cars with the God and Jesus bumper stickers…. I hate the ones with the whole darwin thing. You and are similar that way…. I am not sure what I think. Sometimes I think its a way for people to say “I’m more christian than you!” as if its a contest. Erick and I think the same about religion except for this subject… in our families there have been a lot of hateful things said about our respective religions…. You’d think that us Jews, Lutherans and Catholics could get along but its not easy for some to respect different beliefs. :)

  • Thomas March 14, 2006, 3:22 am

    Julie, i dare you to find me the exact text of the exact sourate that you are mentioning as a fact

  • peepfrench March 14, 2006, 8:49 am

    Wow! As I sit here and read the comments, I think I’d better keep my beliefs to myself! Too hot to handle!

  • Pumpkin Pie March 14, 2006, 9:50 am

    I go to bed and all the interesting conversations start :(
    I am sorry I missed out on it and happy that everyone was nice to each other. But, I have wonderful people that visit this blog. So, I was not worried.

    I am not upset with what you said. Most of my family follows your thought.

    “In God we trust is on American money because our country started out very Christian. Don’t be upset, really its simply our history and heritage. Kind of like an historical monument that people let stand for the sake of history.”

    My answer to them is what I will present to you and anyone else reading this…since we are here to discuss this very topic…

    Slavery was part of our (American) history and heritage…so, should we have kept it? Just because it is part of your history or heritage is not a reason to keep something that is wrong. Wrong is wrong.
    A democracy is for the people, all the people. If we don’t have COMPLETE separation of church and state then we don’t have a democracy and one part of the society will always be put before the others. That is not fair and that is not right.
    Our country was founded by those who were escaping the religious persecution in England. They wanted to be free to practice as they believed and not as a king or a majority dictated to them (not unlike what is happening in America today).
    Religion has no place in politics or on money or in schools. Unless you are going to be able to represent all religions and lack there of equally in politics (President will have a HUGE stack of books to be sworn in on if he is going to represent all of the American people)…and money…do you want “In Allah we trust” on your dollar?….and schools….whew! Can you imagine teaching every single religion or that there is no God in a public school…hmmm. Actually, maybe that would be a good thing if you taught all religions and lack there of equally and then the kids would be able to decide. But, that will never ever happen. It is all or none in a democracy.
    Believe me…I thought like you at one time. Then, I put myself in the shoes of Americans who don’t believe, in the shoes of American Muslims, Jews..etc. I, then, realized they were not represented in the American Government as long as religion has any place in politics on money or in schools.

    Religion is private not public. But, you have your opinion and I have mine. That is ok.

    As long as you are represented by the majority (which are christians in America today)..it is ok. If not you may not be so happy about it.

    This is the closest I could get to finding death to non-believers in the Koran
    I think you can interpret it as killing them or merely fighting them if needed or fighting with words…whatever you like. This is my problem with religion. You can interpret it how you like because it is manmade and suits the needs of the man carrying it.

    I think all religions are dangerous if in the wrong hands and the bible can be interpreted just as the koran. This was done in the Crusades. During this time the bible was twisted to suit the needs of these men just as today the koran can be twisted to suit the needs of bad men. So, I agree with you Thomas…sorry, Julie. The Muslims as a whole are not out to kill the non-believers. It is the radicals that twist the koran to suit their evil needs and wants just as the christians do today….Bush is one of them.

  • Alison March 14, 2006, 2:04 pm

    Great post, Pumpkin!

    We have more in common than just a July birthday in the same year.

  • Thomas March 14, 2006, 4:00 pm

    Well the problem when it comes to religions, is that if you are somehow a racist it is very easy to prove your point.

    Leviticus 22:10 There shall no stranger eat of the holy thing: a sojourner of the priest, or an hired servant, shall not eat of the holy thing. (you cant be friend with strangers?)

    Deuteronomy 7:2 And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: (you have to kill whoever is on the land you conquer?)

    My point is, and that is what i was trying to tell julie, you can’t take one sura from the Koran or like I just did one verse of the Bible.. But you have to take it as a whole..if you do that you will see that the bible as well as the koran convey the exact same message. If you don’t you misinterpret the message, and you can make it say what you want. You cant take a part out of its original context.

  • L'Amerloque March 14, 2006, 7:56 pm

    Hi Pumpkin Pie !

    Excellent post.

    One must indeed differentiate between God, faith, belief and religion. They are not the same, nor are they necessarily linked in the same way for everyone.


  • Pumpkin Pie March 14, 2006, 9:27 pm

    Hi, Amerloque!

    Why thank you.

    It was something I wanted to blog about for a while now and my husband gave me just the right push. Husbands are good for that!

  • Richard March 15, 2006, 3:09 am

    “I would love you to tell me about the so called crusades”

    Ah Thomas,

    The Crusades were a defensive war against a rampaging and murderous Islam. They were brilliantly conceived. Rather than attack Islam entrenched in Spain and Anatolia they went for the hinge and cut the Moslem world in two.

    As conquest, they were a failure. As diversion, a success.

  • Thomas March 15, 2006, 3:39 am

    So what is your point here???? that christianity is a perfect religion and that never people has used the bible to commit massacres??? Unlike Islam that is an evil religion?

    I dont care how you would justify crusades, inquisition, the cathares, St barthelemy night… My point was, there is as much blood on Christianity as there is on Islam, so before saying that such or such religion is calling for murder, maybe ones should really study it in detail, , cause in a whole, Koran is not calling more to murder than the Bible.

  • kim March 15, 2006, 4:32 am

    Here is the perfect example of taking one small part out of a paragraph, and using that small part, when there is more to the sentence that one should be listening to!

    Thomas said this…”The fact some fundamentalists uses the text to fight doesnt mean the religion is wrong. I would love you to tell me about the so called crusades or all the massacres in the name of the Bible, does that make Christians monsters?”

    But Richard took one part of the sentence, which was….”I would love you to tell me about the so called crusades”…

    which has nothing to do with what he was commenting on, it was taken out of context, just exactly like many of the quotes from the bible or koran, that we are discussing here:)
    just my two little cents:)

  • Pumpkin Pie March 15, 2006, 10:35 am

    I think that Richard was simply answering your question because as I read your question (Kim highlighted and so accurately pointed out the missunderstanding)…..it was missunderstood and I also thought Richard answered you correctly. So, it is how we say things and our cultures that dictate how we interprete what is said to us either in verbally or written. Personally, that goes back to my point in the post…all religions are a way to define the undefinable. And, in todays world religion has far too much pull in politics…even in France.

    No religion is without sin.  Simply because all religions are manmade and man is not without sin.

  • Thomas March 15, 2006, 1:47 pm

    Except that he somehow tends to emphasize on the “positive” objective of the crusades (stating the murderous Islam) and totally occulting the point that crusaders invaded villages and were killing everyone…which was then link to the question “does that make christians monsters?”

    Crusades are part of my history, I dont need an explanation about it, and a misunderstanding can come only if you actually dont read a sentence as a whole. That reminds me of a discussion that Superfrenchie had with this religious guy, the other day…when superfrenchie was trying to make a point and the guy kept focusing on details (a word in a sentence) and distording the point.

    Dont misunderstand me either, I am not angry or anything, I was just asking what his point was, as my question was in its context (if you think about all the crimes commited and still commited in the name of the bible, does that make christians monsters and therefore can you really do the same about Islam?)

  • Pumpkin March 15, 2006, 3:25 pm

    I think Richard will need to come and defend himself or clarify what he was saying exactly as you asked him to.

    In the meantime, I will say that I think people hide behind religion to do and say the most disgusting and hateful things to each other all in the name of one god or another while preaching love and forgiveness at the same time. No one is right when they are hurting or killing another people or person for any reason. I don’t care what god they stand behind.

  • Thomas March 15, 2006, 4:17 pm

    Well my opinion on what you are saying is… It’s because it is easier, you dont need any justification…we are going at war because it is god’s wish, and end of discussion, I am right because I believe in god, and since you dont think like me, you dont really believe in god, so you are wrong…

    mmm I wonder why even after 17 years of catholic school, I stopped going to church and living religion my own way.

  • Richard March 15, 2006, 5:19 pm

    Thomas, I was answering only your throwaway line on the Crusades. To then say that I aver Christianity is perfect is ridiculous.

    There may be a perfect religion. If there is a true religion there is only one. It is beyond my poor powers of cognition to give any judgement on that.

    I often hear people say, yeah what about the Crusades. Well, I am glad they happened. Not because Moslems were killed and Christians committed atrocities, but because it insured the continuation of the West as the West with all its faults. I am glad my daughters are not covered head to toe all summer. I am glad we don’t have honor killings. I am glad that if my daughters are in a building fire, they will be able to leave even if they are out of uniform.

    If you think I am wrong on this, well chacun a son gout.

    You wanted a Sura, well I think this is one.

    The earth is fixed and does not move. 27:61

    If the Koran was written by Allah, then science was not his strong suit.

  • Pumpkin March 15, 2006, 5:33 pm

    That is exactly why I don’t believe in religion…I am muddling through my own person intrepration of the undefinable every day of my life and somehow I feel very blessed and spiritual. ;)

  • Thomas March 15, 2006, 6:18 pm

    Well that conversation can go on and on, as the problem is interpretation.

    There are some muslim countries that dont have their women covered and other yes…Some mulsim countries forbid polygamy other allow it.. I just tend to get frustrated when people just generalise on Islam because they heard someone said it is written in the Koran.

    Some things are written in the Bible that not all christians agree with (the bible is as violent as the koran in some parts and everytime churches have felt their power was in danger they have killed), so I think it is totally unfair and wrong to do that generalization with muslims as a lot of people tend to do since 9/11.

    I remember working with 2 muslims right after 9/11, one of them was somehow happy that the arrogance of the usa has been punished blablabla, the second who had studied the Koran for about 15 years, didnt agree and was “spitting to bin laden’s face for using his religion to justify his acts”… Some muslims are mass murderers, others arent. And I will not accept that ignorance will just generalize what we can see in some countries. Its not about the crusade here, its about saying false things about a religion, which is why i reacted in the first place… Other Example, I am a christian.. Bush is a christian, HECK NO, i dont want to be compared to him… So it is unfair to say that all muslims are killers (I had the most massive debates with some muslims, and as a matter of fact they never even insulted me)… gosh maybe I should just write in french, it seems I have a hard time conveying a message in english.

  • Richard March 15, 2006, 7:18 pm

    “There are some muslim countries that dont have their women covered and other yes…Some mulsim countries forbid polygamy other allow it”

    You are not listening. I am not defending Christianity. However, the quote above is telling. How many Western or even Christian countries have the woman covered or allow polygamy. The thing speaks for itself.

    There are violent parts of the Bible but not as many as in the Koran. Please find a Sura that says turn the other cheek. Again, the thing speaks for itself.

    Now, Jews and Christians used to believe that the world started with Adam about 6000 years ago. With modern science we know that anyone who believes that and thus believes that the Bible is actually the literal word of God is crazy. Most in the West don’t believe that. Some do which makes for interesting conversations.

    If anyone actually believes the Koran is the literal word of God after reading the Sura I quoted above, then the conclusion is inescapable. As there is no Moslem theologian who says that the Koran is not the literal word of God, well what can one conclude other than the culture gap is wide. We may come through it after turmoil and struggle to a world where we have some agreement, Or, we may not. Islam, has to come most of the distance, though and the dogma is greatly in the way.

  • Richard March 15, 2006, 7:26 pm

    “people hide behind religion to do and say the most disgusting and hateful things to each other all in the name of one god or another while preaching love and forgiveness at the same time”

    The concept is doublethink from 1984.

    “No one is right when they are hurting or killing another people or person for any reason.”

    Maybe so as Hamlet’s dad said as he was egging his kid on to another killing, “Murder most foul as in the best it is.” Still, someone invades your house, holds a machete over your child’s face and will not kill the child but will horribly disfigure the face and you hold a gun and your only option to stop this is the death of the invader, what would you do?

  • Pumpkin March 15, 2006, 8:14 pm

    Of course I would do what I had to do to protect my child. Any parent would.
    But, no one is invading America or Europe.

  • kim March 15, 2006, 11:58 pm

    WOW!! Pumpkin, is this the most comments you’ve gotten on one subject or what?? :)

    btw, I love your little video of boy blue and the kids, what a lovely thing you did for your daughter in USA!

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