I'm going to hell

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The Spectrum

Two weeks ago, South Park hit an impressive milestone with their 200th episode. So how did they celebrate? In a fashion that only Matt Stone and Trey Parker could – by offending an entire religion to the point of receiving death threats.

So when the second part of the episode aired, Comedy Central wasn't taking any chances. Every time the word Muhammad was said in the episode, it was bleeped out.

This is just one of many examples of the increasingly sensitive society we find ourselves in today. Our country is known primarily for its belief in freedom. But we've hit a point in which we can't even mention the name of a religious figure without worrying about being killed.

By no means do I mean to single out a single religion. I am actually attempting to criticize the institution of all religions. In my mind, religion doesn't make us better people. It makes us worse.

Sure, Islam has taken a lot of heat in the past few years, but it isn't the only religion out there killing in the name of some deity. It's a story as old as time itself.

History books are all stained with the blood of religious wars. The Crusades, the Thirty Years' War and the Iraq war were all ignited because somebody believed that their god was worth killing hundreds of innocents for. It's truly disgusting.

This is the number one reason that I'm an atheist. I find it too hard to fathom the idea of worshipping someone who is responsible for the deaths of literally thousands, if not millions, of people over the course of human history.

Even with all of our advances in technology and education, the same blood is still being spilled because of religion. From suicide bombers and terrorists to the Christian terrorists arrested for plotting to kill police officers, every single religion is guilty.

Of course, religion doesn't turn everyone into psychotic serial killers, but that doesn't mean it doesn't screw people up in various other ways.

I'm sure many people out there recall the tragic deaths of those who perished in the Flight 3407 crash in February of 2009. During the memorial service, Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church protested because they believed that the crash was a form of God's punishment.

Seriously? That was, hands down, one of the most disturbing things I had ever heard. When I first found out about the protest, I couldn't even begin to understand the reasoning behind it. Turns out the answer is simple – religion makes people crazy.

Now I can't deny that religion has certainly done some good in this world to a certain degree, but in my mind, it's held us back more than anything.

You don't need fear of eternal damnation to be a good human being. All you have to do is simply try and be a good person. That's it. So I guess what I'm saying is, screw God. You religious extremists can keep him or her or whatever. I'll put my faith in humanity where it belongs.

E-mail: james.twigg@ubspectrum.com