Church in Moscow
Photograph of Dean Lewis

I don’t think this is a serious question. 

  • First: The Soviets tried it and it didn’t work, the religious simply went underground. The Chinese are trying to kill Islam in Uyghur areas as you read this; they will not succeed. 
  • Second: Do you really want to live in a society where the Government dictates what you are allowed to believe?
  • Third: In some countries, there would be serious pushback. Politicians live for this crap and would be quick to jump on any side that appeared to have the upper hand at that moment. Some countries would become more religious, enshrining state religions into law.

It’s easy to understand why some may feel this way about banning religion. The simple fact is that in my country conservative evangelicals are a major part of the problem. Instead of the teachings of Jesus, many preach hate.

On a personal note, folks who quote the Bible irritate me. It’s supposed to be the final word and you should not ask any more questions; like that passage that says slavery is alright. Those few words got one in eight American men killed or wounded. 

So, I’ll now be a jerk and quote from the Christian Bible:

Leviticus 19:33-34

“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

Exodus 22:21

“You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.

Exodus 23:9

“You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.

Matthew 25:35

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,

Deuteronomy 27:19

“‘Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

There’s much more but you have the idea.

January, 6 and Religion
January, 6

I can understand why people don’t like religion much; it has been used as a weapon to control others. Donald Trump is using religion in exactly this way and may ride the Evangelical wave to the Oval Office.

In fact, hard-core religious people are, as a group, mean. That is not only my experience but the result of multiple research projects from around the world. It gets worse: They raise mean children who go on to hate as adults. This is not limited to any one religion or nation. 

So, to close, many religious conservatives hate and teach hate. That’s not an opinion and it’s not limited to any one group. In turn, this is harming church attendance for churches that do teach Christian or Islamic values (among others). While I may not personally care for the truly conservative religious, I think they should be treated with common decency. I’m also aware they would not grant me the right to follow my beliefs in return. No, religion should not be banned.

Should all religion be banned?

Roger Bara

If you had asked me maybe 2,000 years ago, I would have said “absolutely not”.

But it’s now 2023, and religion is long overdue for the scrapheap. Don’t get me wrong, every single person on this planet is entitled to have a faith of some sort, but that’s exactly where it should stay. With the individual. And no forcing it down other people’s throats, and certainly no brainwashing of innocent children, which to me is nothing less than child abuse.

We are all born without any belief in any god whatsoever. We all seem to cope really well. So why do we need a god today? Let’s look at Christianity. Why do we need a God that tells you that if you don’t follow him/her/it, you are destined to burn in hell forever? In fact, what sort of a god would even fathom such bizarre cruelty? If your God can do anything and everything, ask him to say “Hi” will you?

And don’t get me started on the bible. You know, the book that commands you to kill almost everybody, from children who disobey parents, to anyone who does not observe the sabbath. Why do people still pray? According to your book, God already knows what you want, so it appears he just wants to hear you beg for it. Lovely. I find it hard to understand that in this day and age, some people devoutly believe this rubbish.

Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey

So, you can’t fathom out how the universe started (who can, for certain?) so “God must have done it.” Really? Religion has led to multiple atrocities over the centuries, and these futile wars are purely the result of one god against another. Pathetic.

I truly believe in something. I believe that to teach age-old superstitions as the truth is utterly and deeply disturbing. Of course it should be banned. Religions have murdered, raped, corrupted and committed genocide just to spread its message. Meanwhile, I go to Hell for not believing……

A vast number of people do not believe in a god, God, or any supernatural fairy in the sky.  Nothing appears to happen to us at all. Our lack of faith taints us only when we are harassed by ideological theists, which is not any evidence of a god’s existence, but purely verification of the hypocrisy within religion. 

One of my all-time heroes, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, wrapped it all up rather nicely when he said: ”Science is the most reliable guide for civilization, for life, for success in the world. Searching a guide other than the science is meaning carelessness, ignorance and heresy.” Amen!

Should religion be banned?

Our Rusuk Blog writer Sergey

I was born in the godless country known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or simply the Soviet Union, and I lived there until I was 16.

My childhood memories about churches and God (or god, in Soviet interpretation) were something shameful. Religion was something indecent, not completely prohibited, but some sideshow. We kids all knew that god didn’t exist up in the sky or elsewhere. Even when the Soviet ideology started to crumble somewhere in 1988, religion didn’t become an attraction to me.

On the other hand, there was a huge religious revival across the country. It first brought an alternative to Communist ideology. The 1000th anniversary of the Christianisation of Kievan Rus’ in 1988 was celebrated as a big deal. It was a clear sign that religion is now allowed, and God, after all, is a good guy, not some scary and gloomy creature depicted in Soviet propaganda.

Church of the Ascension
Church of the Ascension, 1532

I was interested in Christ but in a strange way. I wanted to know back in high school if he ever existed as a human being. I wanted to know the historical truth, simply because Soviet propaganda has been claiming that he never existed as a man; just read Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, that was the beginning of the story right in the first chapter. Anyway, after some research, the answer was ‘yes’ to me. Just like Buddha or Mohammed, all of them were real men back in the day. I even suspect that Krishna and Shiva were real persons who lived at the dawn of human civilization as we know it.

Back to the topic: I am not a believer; I find it pretty weird to go to a church or some other divine institution to pray, crucify yourself and show other external elements of how much you love Jesus (or someone else).

I believe that some ethical code, partly incorporated into any religion, separates Good from Evil. Such a code may vary from one historical epoch to another and from one location to another. 

What I’ve learned from my early Soviet days – and I know from what modern dictators, including the guy in my own country, do: any ban would be a temporary measure. Be it a religion or ideology.

My answer is ‘NO.’ Religion should not be banned as it won’t work. We are to choose for ourselves. I know people who rely on Christianity, and it works for them. Good for them. It doesn’t work for me. Still, let people believe in their fairy tales.