Tuesday, 8 June 2010

5 Steps to Secularise Yourself (and lead a happier life)

1.  Remove ALL religious language from your vocabulary.  This sounds maybe like a strange idea but if you come to think of it, by using religious swear words, you are effectively using the fear that the church instills in people in your every day language.  For example, 'bloody hell' - I use this in amazement - I do not believe in 'hell' and I most certainly don't think there is an even more gruesome of 'hell' that exists that is in any way 'bloody'!!!  Therefore I have come to the conclusion that to keep using it is to perpetuate the fear-mongering beliefs of the church.
     The list is incredible if you think about it.......'bless you' for a sneeze........'for god's sake' for just plain annoyance............'god only knows' for something you can't explain.........it really has to stop - it's quite annoying to think that I have been programmed to spout this rhetoric and I wasn't even brought up in a religious family!! Again, this goes back to just how far and wide the church's grip on society reaches.
    This idea has also made me think that almost all swear words are the by-product of the church - could this be to turn public opinion on any detractors? I don't know.

2. Don't get married. Yes, I said it. Don't get married.  You may be asking yourself, 'Why not?', first I would like you to tell me exactly why you should get married.  Many people get married in a picturesque church (that they have only set foot in to check that it is 'pretty' or 'quaint' enough for their wedding) and never return thereafter.  Is this is in line with the idea of Christianity? I hardly think so.  Therefore, if you are not in any way a practising Christian, why on earth do you want to go to the church to hear an ancient man in a robe tell you that you are allowed 'to kiss the bride'?! C'mon!!! Please!!
     Another reason is that, if you truly love someone, why do you need to commit to a contract in such a way?  If you truly love someone, I see no need to involve anyone but yourself and your partner in the relationship (and perhaps later on, children).
    Let's say that you do really want to get married. Fine - in some countries it is legally an advantage to be married to your partner.  Just don't go to the church - go to the registry office where it is illegal to mention god (hmm, I wonder why that idea was made into LAW??: ) ), it is also a procedure that does not detract from you and your partner's love for each other by constantly putting 'god' between you and if anything, concentrates more on you and your partner, as most anyone would surely want.

3. Don't have a funeral at the church.  Now, this is similar to the idea above yet it is also a slightly more sombre tone.  A cremation (in the UK at least) is the alternative to a church funeral.  Again, why would a non-religious person wish for a religious figure (who they had most probably never met) to bid them farewell steeped in beliefs & traditions that they themself  never practised or believed in.  If you are the next of kin, speak yourself about the deceased loved one or relative; tell stories, smile - it doesn't all have to be so grim, being positive is arguably a very good way of dealing with grief.  Invite others close to the deceased to speak also, along with anything else you see fit. After all, this is one of your loved ones we are talking about - you have the power to decide how best to say goodbye - don't feel obliged to let a stranger in robes come in and take control just for convenience's sake.

4. Don't capitalise 'god'.  Why should this be a proper noun? Surely all 'things' worthy of being proper nouns (countries, cities, days, months, etc EVEN religions) can be proved to actually exist.  Until that time, don't give undue respect and importance to such an idea that, by capitalising it, will lead to prolonged belief in such archaic ideas.

5. Don't allow your children to be forced to partake in any form of religious activity until they are 18, hence no longer children and able to make an educated decision.  This is particularly aimed at schooling as I vividly remember receiving plenty of Christian education in primary school (during my most formative years), whereas at home it was not practised or even mentioned.  I do, however, remember a boy from a Muslim family sitting outside the assembly hall when all religious instruction was taking place.  If all parents requested that, schools would be forced to not delve into such a personal pursuit, such as religion.

In the words of the late, great Bob Marley, 'Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; None but ourselves can free our minds'..............so go out there and practice what you preach   (d'oh! ;-)  ...........put it into practice!! See, it's not so hard after all! :)

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