Note added 28/11/2020: Yes, I did believe this at one point in my life. I was going through a lot in my life (which I have no intention of posting here, so don’t bother asking) and I was in a very dark place. It was a very brief interlude in my life of maybe a few years where I hated everyone and everything, myself most of all. I didn’t believe this before that time, and I don’t believe it now. However, I am not going to delete this post as I believe in owning my mistakes as well as my successes.
Religious people are cowards. I don’t care how many burning buildings they’ve entered, they are cowards. I’m sure you are wondering how I can say this. Some of them are heroes, you cry. Some cling to their faith through overwhelming odds. That, you say, is true courage.
Let me tell you about religious folk. They can’t cope with their own prejudices and baser urges so, like a child afraid of punishment, they blame their imaginary friends. ‘I feel uncomfortable around gays/atheists/insert random group here, but that’s ok, because God says they’re sinners, so I’m allowed to hate them.’
‘I feel sexually attracted to my neighbour’s wife; I feel the urge to torture the rock spider down the road; I want to know how it feels to kill; but none of that is really me, it’s the devil trying to tempt me away from the Lord/Allah/Jehovah/insert random God/ess here.’
Being religious doesn’t make a person any less human. They still have the same dark desires as the rest of us, the same propensity for kindness, the same mix of good and evil. The rest of us acknowledge the darkness in our hearts and strive to overcome it, to be the best person we can be, understanding that struggle to be a natural part of the human condition. All with no promise of eternal reward at the end. That is true courage. Religious folk, on the other hand, see their own potential for darkness, fear it, deny it, and blame it on someone else.
That makes them cowards all.