Erna Mahyuni

Erna tweets too much on @ernamh. Angry Sabah native, slave to her dog/cat and blogs at ernamahyuni.com

AUGUST 9 — Ah, another day and another storm in a teh tarik cup. It’s all high-drama as we know or at least should know — a riotous, colourful farce. 

Of course we know what it means. The general election is coming so of course, the prickliest issues will be pulled out of the handy “Let’s Piss People Off” cabinet that I’m sure all our political parties keep in a bunker somewhere.

Now stepping back from the grand theatre of things, we can ponder why, the same people who protest against anyone discriminating against their religion are happy to discriminate against atheists.

Note to those people who won’t quit trying to push for the Rukunegara to become law: how do you not understand how problematic the first line of the Rukunegara is? “Belief in God.” Make that into law and technically, Malaysia overnight becomes a no-man’s land for atheists.

Of course the whole rather amusing basis of any religion is that the followers of a religion thinks everyone else is wrong. So how do we create a society where the religious do not try to annihilate each other? Fortunately war is expensive so proselytisation is usually the preferred option

I wish people of the religious vein would not make demons out of those who do not want to believe in any God or Gods. As a common joke puts it, atheists don’t go killing people in the name of “not believing in a God.” Study the population of criminals and you’ll find that being an atheist is not a good indication as to someone’s character.

Much as I can’t stand the preachiness of some vegans and atheists, I wouldn’t want to see them dead or curtailed of their rights to annoy others. I mean, I can still block them on Twitter, right?

To defend the rights of others to believe in a God, I think it is wise to defend the rights of those who chose not to. If people would just accept that for some people, faith is not so much a personal thing as it is a different form of comparison shopping. Today, Mammon, tomorrow, the God of whoever makes people curse in traffic jams. 

In a way, atheists are uncommonly brave. Instead of relying on prayer, they rely only on themselves and ascribe their lives not to the movement of the heavens, or the writings on a scroll. 

It is something rather terrifying, to consider that after our lives end, there is nothing waiting for us. So to embrace that belief that this life is all we have is in a way far harder than choosing instead to hope for better things in the afterlife. 

As a lifelong God-believer, shouldn’t I be fearful about writing this? Not really. I believe if a God truly exists he’s too busy getting mad at the people who kill puppies and marry their rape victims. Now if the rest of Malaysia will get the memo, that would be nice.

* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.

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