I found this article on minority religion in the United States to be interesting, and a bit troubling. One thing that particularly struck me was the discussion of the San Francisco peaks, which are sacred to several Native American tribes, but the government is allowing them to be used by the Arizona Snowbowl.
Author Dr. Karl Siegfried says, “The 1978 American Indian Religious Freedom Act requires all federal agencies to consult with leaders of traditional Native American religions when making decisions that affect religious practice. Government officials were bizarrely disrespectful during meetings on this particular issue, asking questions like, ‘You say your Gods walk around the [Peaks]. How big are their feet?’ Would they dare to talk in this disgusting manner to Christian, Jewish or Muslim leaders?” That’s quite a relevant question. As an atheist, I don’t think gods with huge feet are walking around on these mountains. At the same time, though, I don’t believe that everything that happens is the will of Allah, or that Jesus died to save mankind (although, for some reason, only that part of mankind that believes in him). It’s weird to me how the most religiously devoted people are often the harshest critics of other religions. Thor throwing his hammer at giants is just ridiculous, but Noah’s flood covering the whole Earth? THAT’S perfectly believable! Even more to the point, you’ll see Christians demonizing Islam and insisting that Allah isn’t the same as their own God, even though pretty much all the same myths are attributed to him. Or the ongoing battle between Catholics and Protestants. I guess it goes to show that your greatest enemy is often the one who believes ALMOST what you do, but it does strike me as going against the idea of removing the log from your eye before you point out the speck in your neighbor’s? Some guy who died around this time of year popularized that philosophy.
That said, I don’t necessarily think all religions are equal. I don’t believe in any of them, but perhaps some are more likely than others. I believe I’ve said before that, while I don’t believe in reincarnation or Heaven and Hell, I think the former is more in line with how the world generally works. And yeah, Jesus dying for your sins is at least a bit more believable than the alien overlord Xenu throwing people in volcanoes. Nonetheless, at a certain point, it’s all supernatural belief that has to be taken on faith.
Anyway, happy Easter/Eostre/Ostara to anyone who celebrates it (yeah, I know Wiccans celebrate Ostara at the vernal equinox, but Bede claimed it was in April), happy belated Passover to the Jews, and happy whatever to everybody else!