In the United Kingdom, and perhaps many other Western countries, there is an unwritten rule that requires people to keep their religion to themselves. My understanding is that the reason for this is so that people find it less difficult and unsettling that other people hold different morals, principles and ideas to them and about them because they are not vocalised. All in all, the system promotes social harmony – reducing conflict.
The truth is, though, that some of the most popular religions and beliefs around the world teach of a divine retribution of some sort – a consequence for the way you have lived your life. When this is a person’s belief it becomes a little more important to share. The message I’m trying to convey here is perhaps best represented in a quote by an atheist magician/illusionist, Penn Jillette. He says:
“I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward—and atheists who think people shouldn’t proselytize and who say just leave me alone and keep your religion to yourself—how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?
“I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.”
You may not want to hear what we have to say but since no-one could prove us wrong, when the consequences are considered it may just be worth your time. We are trying to help.