I once made one of those rare (haha) mistakes. I gave one of my good friends a copy of Religulous - the Bill Maher semi-documentary, full-comedic feature, that makes fun of all Judeo-Christian religions.
The movie makes fun of Christian zealots, bigots and possible terrorists in the States, anti-technology, loophole-searching Jewish orthodoxes (and perhaps Jewish orthodontists as well) and Muslims in Holland who seem to deny a lot of things.
The result? My friend decided to spend four hours talking to me, in an effort to discover my brand of religion.
Friend: What do you believe in?
F: What do you believe in?
F: And what would these Comedists wear? What is their book? Who is their prophet? Can you eat pork?
Honestly, my intentions in lending the movie were purely innocent. I wanted to share the laughter Bill Maher had induced, at the expense of really crazy religious people. His movie is about the crazy things religious extremists do. Crazy, as in insanely funny. Yes, Maher is a very loud atheist and he has his agendas, but he is funny.
We even have people in Malaysia making fun of Islam and the Malays. Some of them are funny. Others are not. Not in the sense they hit closer to home, but in the sense that they are both malicious and stupid at the same time. Not to mention how off their comic timing is.
Anyway, The result of that endeavour was that my friend has stopped calling. And whenever I called him, one of the things he wanted to know was whether I eat pork.
I don't. I don't like pork. I don't like mutton as well. Even fish. I like chicken and beef.
What I have learned over the years is that spirituality - be it religion or spiritual enlightenment or realisation - is a very private thing. Sharing your spiritual discoveries is almost the same as barging through the door of your neighbour's house and masturbating all over his furniture. Or fucking your wife in your neighbour's living room, in front of your neighbour.
Most would be aghast, while others watch with rapt admiration and/or curiosity. Especially if you are exhibiting a position your neighbour has never tried or could never make work before.
Perhaps that is why Ustaz Asri got arrested by JAIS.
Anyway, the problem with talking about religion or spirituality is that most people are insecure in their beliefs. People who constantly talk about how things should get done - how to live one's life, for example - are doing either one of two things:
1. Find out more information about the subject matter.
2. Find approval so they can be more sure of what to do.
On both counts, there is no harm. However, the problem is when the shakiness of their beliefs - their insecurities - turn into hostility.
This is why I believe we should never talk about religion. Let's ride this religion thing out.
Funny thing is, the problem is usually never in the religion itself. It is, as always, in people.
Religion - all religions - basically convey the same message. Live an honest life. Do good shit. Don't do bad shit. Don't rape people. Don't be greedy. Relax.
- Black Bolt of the Inhumans.
I have met Muslims who pray, and yet speak bad things about others. Muslims who were convicted - I am not saying they are guilty, for God only knows, and only God knows - of murder, rape, road rage, corruption, blablabla.
I have met as many calm and cool Buddhists as there are greedy, soulless bastards who claim to be Buddhists. A petty, selfish, chaotic, hypocritical Buddhist. Imagine that.
I have met Christians and Hindus who advocate charity as a way of life - no bullshit. And I have met Christians who are extremely judgmental(judge ye not, lest ye be judged, anyone?), fucked his neighbour's wife, stole, committed adultery, biased, bigoted and generally fucked up.
I went to Hindu restaurants that donate all their profits to charity hospitals. And I have met Hindus who try to sabotage everything at every step of the way.
You know the worst thing? The worst thing, the worst people to ever talk about religion are these two types which I have pigeon-holed for our easy consumption:
And the lethal combo: atheist liberals, or liberal atheists.
Now, when any of the other religionistas talk about religion in a defensive manner, it is usually, as I said, because they are insecure about their own faiths. When liberal atheists do it, it is purely for that and nothing else - their desire to be SEEN AS right. Doesn't matter if they're right or wrong. Oh, no no no. Just to be SEEN AS right is enough for them.
They constantly demean and put down other religions and followers of other religions because they themselves are very insecure about their lack of faith. If anyone with a relgious faith is betting on something and the pot is heaven, nirvana or whatever, the atheists are betting on nothing, and they're scared as hell!
Atheists are the most insecure fuckers on earth, and they will chant, yell and scream their beliefs from the mountaintops.
Atheists are the loudest group online! And if they ever get a free pass to talk about religion in this country, they'd be the loudest motherfuckers on the planet. Much worse than terr - oops - JAIS or representatives of any religion.
In fact, our own founding fathers saw the dangers of liberal atheists so much they put it in our Rukunegara. The first item on the list of five principles is: KEPERCAYAAN KEPADA TUHAN. Belief in God. If you don't believe in God, get the fuck out of the country. I don't care what God. Invent one. Makcik Bedah Mulut Jubur seems to be a popular choice. Public opinion. Money. America. Political party (PUS! PUS! PUS!). Whatever you do, get God - any God - on the case.
Righteousness does not have a place here. Or anywhere, for that matter. In any religion or non-religion.
If you are right, and in alignment with the truth, then there is no need to defend anything. Because the truth does not need to be defended. Especially not by idiots like you.
What people do is not defend their religion. They are merely defending themselves. The truth is immortal. They are not.