|I tend to think of people who hear voices in their heads and see things that aren’t there as emotionally unstable and/or mentally ill. Actually this perceived stigma is a shared belief and a mutual demerit for each of us. What we have in common is the inclination to look down on each other.|
|I consider my religious friends as having a dangerous mental illness, but it’s a 2 way street, since my religious friends are not allowed to see me as a complete human either. My authority to claim them as members of our species naturally affords them the ability to assume to have the authority to pity and judge me. Because I’m not baptized nor born again nor have submitted to Allah nor consider myself one of a chosen people or whatever, I am not a person as they are a person. I am lacking; deficient. I may be likable and worthy of being friendly to, but my friendship is limited by their mental illness, as their friendship is limited by my sub-human status.|
|And we can be friendly, but never true friends, if only because my life is not valid in the way that they see their lives as valid. Because I am defined by their self-image of ideological divinity, I am less human. They see me as somehow missing something–a lesser being. A sick animal. Maybe something to pity a little bit too.|
|Ironically, this timeless division and mutual condescension is in the name of a god that I don’t recognize. An opportunity for me to bridge myself to my morally superior religious friends is a no-no intrinsically written into religious beliefs. Love this or that above all others, or–god forbid!–end up like me.|
|What’s more, where humans often look to religion for answers to life’s most profound questions, religion insists on perpetuating their ignorance. So forget trying to discuss information outside any delusional religious assumption. If God hasn’t said it, it simply isn’t important enough to matter.|
As much as I pity your mental illness, I am kind and friendly to you, my self-serving religious zealot.
Additionally, you and I are friendly, but your religion will never see me as your valid (and therefore) true friend.