Religion in my Wallet?
Wow. Make one post about religious instructions regarding personal finance, and get a slew of personal attacks, unsubscribe notices, and general ignorant vitriol. How bitter are some of these people who commented? The post never said “these are things you should believe”, it simply stated these were some of the reasons the guest blogger handles finances the way he does. After all, personal finance is, well, personal. Why, then, are people making such a big fuss over things? As a Christian, I’m used to this sort of thing all the time. Mention Jesus around people who don’t know him, and the world implodes around you. I love America, this land of free speech. And all the people who wish to censor it.
Should posts like this receive this type of attention? No. We’re supposed to be a society based upon the free exchange of ideas. While you are quite welcome to choose not to hear others’ ideas, and quite welcome to contribute your own ideas, it’s about time you stopped calling for censorship of the ideas you don’t agree with. Like the mafia, some have used the blogger’s version of extortion — cancelling an RSS subscription — to show how much they hate the very idea of talking about God. This is incredible. When I was an atheist, I didn’t go around shoving religious people around; I simply didn’t care what they had to say. The only thing that can cause the bitter comments attached to that post is a hatred for God, and to hate God you must believe he exists. It’s such a backwards world. After all, I don’t get offended when people talk about the Easter Bunny; I’m simply content to sit back and know he doesn’t exist. Why should atheism be any different; it wasn’t to me.
Now, I won’t wax Christian all the time on this blog. To me, I’m here to write primarily about money. However, I am a Christian, won’t deny it, and won’t be silenced by people who would try to bully me into not talking about it. This is a personal finance blog, and I plan to make it personal; when religion plays a role, I will mention it. And since I tend to follow biblical laws on money, or try to, religion does belong here. However, I will not be giving altar calls at the end of each post, contrary to what some of these people feel is going on. I only hope J.D. won’t stand for being extorted, and will at least claim that all ideas surrounding personal finance belong on his blog, even if those ideas happen to be religious in nature (especially in just 1 out of many hundred posts).
Calling for censorship of any kind is becoming the downfall of our society. Freedom is a strange word; there is no grey area. Either we have freedom, or we do not. There is no such thing as “slightly-censored freedom”. People are getting more thinly-skinned by the day. Al Sharpton gets offended every time a webmaster mentions “#000000″. I have a homosexual friend who gets offended when a rainbow appears in the biblical story of Noah’s Ark (guess what, you were four millennia late on that one). Radical Muslims get offended when infidels even talk about Muhammad, much less try to draw him (here’s a sideways picture of him: 0+< (don’t kill me, please)). Our society, so delicately crafted on the principles of freedom, has arrived at a point where we must either choose freedom, or choose to allow the biggest bullies to keep us from taking part in all of our inherent freedoms, even if what we say offends those bullies.
For personal finance blogs everywhere, here’s hoping J.D. doesn’t capitulate to the bullies on that blog. Censorship of any kind is a very slippery slope, and it takes us all saying “no” before we can end this culture of censorship, thin skin, and victim mentalities. Hopefully, if we stand our ground even a little bit, their delicate skin might start getting a little thicker.
Edit: As I imagined might happen, I’ve been getting a lot of hate mail over this post for whatever reason, most of which miss the irony in calling for me to censor this post. Just to clarify things, if I sound harsh or bitter it’s likely intended to be tongue-in-cheek (i.e. the bit about the rainbow). My goal here is not to convert you to Christianity, it’s to call for an end for this whole censorship thing, and let all viewpoints be heard, even in the personal finance community. I’d love to hear the perspective of a Hindu on personal finance, as well as a Buddhist, or any person with a slightly different perspective on it. The whole point of blogging is that all views are welcome, even when they don’t match yours. How will we ever learn new ways to think about things if all we do is call for opposing viewpoints to be censored? How will I know if I’m wrong about something if I never hear the other way to do it? Even more than being Christians and Atheists or whatever, we’re all human beings, and our primary concern should always be treating others as human beings, rather than dismissing people with labels we don’t like. So please, don’t ask me to censor my own blog, because it’s not happening. And I hope nobody else will censor theirs, either.