“Every book has an author. Who the author is depends on who you ask“
When I was around 17 years old, my religion & ethics teacher said this sentence to us. She was talking about Muhammad’s revelation and how he wrote everything down in the Quran/Koran. She asked us two questions:
“To a christian or atheist, who is the author of the Koran?”
Everyone answered at the same time, “Muhammad”.
“To a muslim, who is the author of the Koran?”
Only a few answered: “Their god”, “God” and “Allah”. A short silence followed…
Between 30-60% of the Norwegian population is either atheists or agnostics. When we had religion classes, it was obvious that the majority of the class was not religious. When the one catholic girl talked about christianity or the two muslim sisters read from the Koran and prayed in front of us, my classmates smiled, wrinkled their noses, fiddled their fingers and/or started looking up in the ceiling. I must say, I found the whole thing very fascinating.
For as long as I can remember I was always an atheist. The whole notion of angels, Satan and Jesus was just as real to me as the Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.
I was in church a lot growing up since my choir and drama class was there. We prayed after every session, but even though I folded my hands and I said the prayer, I never believed in that stuff. It was kind of weird that normal people could believe in such silly things.
As time passed by, my “faith” got stronger. The more history I learned and the more evidence I came across, the more I could understand why people wanted to be religious. The comfort of an afterlife, the answers to a question, the belonging of a group.
“Every book has an author” she said. It really spoke to me in so many ways. It’s all about perspective. It doesn’t matter how much an atheist tells a believer that their holy book is flawed. It also doesn’t matter how many quotes a believer says to an atheist because the book they’re quoting from is to us, just a book… like Harry Potter or The Lord Of The Rings.
I never really understood why learning about religion was so important until that day. If we can’t show everyone equal respect, we only leave room for discrimination. Religion & ethics became one my favorite classes after this session.
Lately I’ve been watching a couple of YouTubers talking about atheism, DarkMatter2525 and JaclynGlenn. These two bring up a bunch of topics that is very relevant in the US. They also perfectly nail how I’ve felt all these years growing up. Being forced by schools to attend christian traditions always pissed me off and it seems like I’m not the only one. However, in the US you have to swear to God when you’re under oath in court, your tax money goes to the churches, many kids don’t learn about science and critical thinking… This type of indoctrination steals children’s free will and teaches them to blindly follow something without question it. “Get ’em while they’re young!” some say. “That way, they won’t get tainted”.
It’s scary to think that so many people go through this. To me it’s a form of child abuse. Every kid has the right to choose their religion or not believe in anything at all. I just wish people could have the same teacher that I had in late high school.
My YouTube-channel was mainly going to be about veganism, but I’m thinking about expanding the topics with atheism also. We’ll see how how it goes. 🙂