In recent years, I have come to realize that my lifelong disdain for religion has never been particularly helpful to anyone, including myself. While I do not believe in a deity of any sort, nor do I believe in supernatural auras and karma nor the thousand other proxies for a supreme being, I believe the universe is a wondrously heterogeneous place, with room for perspectives as diverse as this place in which we live. So long as those perspectives do no harm, I have no objection to them. Therein lies the rub. It’s not so much the beliefs I abhor, it’s the practices of the believers. I honestly believe that most religions have, at their core, foundations inspired by goodness.
Yesterday, I had occasion to read different versions of mealtime “grace” as practiced by different religious and non-religious groups. The principal difference between them was in whether they recognized a deity; otherwise, they all expressed appreciation for the earth, the bounties they enjoy, the people around them, and the goodness of the earth. Stripped of their religious robes, their messages were beautiful thoughts even the most devout atheist would accept and appreciate.
Would that we could, as humans, focus on the message instead of the method of getting to it.