Claiming to Know God is the Highest Form of Elitism

When I hear someone say that a god is responsible for something that happened or a decision that they've made, I cringe. Most things about religion have become cringe worthy to me. The more I explore the deeply entrenched mythologies of my own culture, the harder it becomes for me to take much of what humans do seriously. Little by little, I've realized that when it comes to our world view, most people simply embrace the one they've inherited. Religion is easy to pick on, however, because it's so full of blatant fairy tales.

Yet, it's equally difficult to dispel, because the religious are such elitists. 

To break through their privileged exterior takes a sledge hammer, blow torch and chainsaw. They're not only blind to reason but they honestly seem to believe that they have a personal connection to the most powerful being in the universe. 

Who can compete with that?

Seriously! If there's any truth whatsoever with what the religious claim,  how would I stand a chance. If the religious really do hear the voice of a god and if that god is as all powerful as they claim, then it would be an act of futility on a mere mortal's part to attempt to even have a single differing opinion. The gig is up. No point in even questioning the believer any longer. They've stumbled across the insider's secret to winning the argument. 

In the real world it has long been known that if you're friends with the king, you're part of an insider's club. 

The king is at the top of the human heap. He administers punishments and rewards. He has the final say. He wages wars and builds castles. If you're even remotely familiar with him, it becomes more likely that you'll reap a few benefits. The crumbs that fall from his table will be feverishly scooped up by those standing nearest the table. If you are on a first name basis with the king, if he recognizes you and nods in your direction, then you're going move up in the hierarchy of privilege. 

There's a deep seated desire among humans to have power in their lives or at the very least to stand close to those that do.

Once they're allowed into the inner circle, they will do whatever is needed to protect their position. Having access to the mind of the king gives them the certainty that they, too, are superior to those who are forced to live outside the castle walls. 

Couple this innate need for power in all humans with a belief system that says ... 

"You may be smart, you may even be the king, but I have an intimate connection with the most powerful being in the universe. His will trumps yours. His will even trumps the king's will. Furthermore, he talks to me, daily. He's revealed to me the mysteries of the universe. I not only know what will happen in this life but I have a clear picture of what happens after we die. So there's nothing that you can say or do that will ever be able to compete with my knowledge. In fact, anything that you do well will only be possible because god wanted it to happen. And, please, don't ever forget that my god and I are on the same team, the winning team."

Such elitist audacity is almost unprecedented. 

Seriously, how do you break through this belief system? A degree won't impress them. Being an expert on any topic won't do it. Hard core facts that fly in the face of the beliefs religious elitists hold dear are easily ignored by a mere flick of the wrist. Why? They know god. They've tapped into the mind of god. They know what he wants, where he lives, what he has planned for the future and who he hates. One day, they're even going to live with god inside the castle walls. They're going to be rewarded so lavishly that even an earthly king's wealth will pale by comparison. 

Now, if you're an unbeliever, watch out. 

You're the enemy from the neighboring kingdom that will try to steal the king's glory. Your ideas are not only scorned but feared. It becomes the duty of those in the god club to resist your efforts to change their minds. In fact, it even becomes their duty to get rid of you. They are in god's army. He has assigned them a huge responsibility to protect the kingdom from the heretics. And if all their efforts fail to break your will in this life, well, then god will take over in the next. Punishment will be meted out without mercy. 

Historically, those who resist the king or god have not fared well.  

There are many different types of elitism in the world of human interactions. Sadly, people love to lord it over other people. But there is nothing more frustrating than the elitist attitude of the religious. Their entire feeling of superiority is based on connections with an invisible king living in an invisible kingdom with absolutely no power to lift his invisible finger to do a damn thing. Yet, they still insist on elevating themselves above everyone else by claiming to hear god's voice and know god's mind. It's impossible to engage in a meaningful argument with a believer, because they don't operate in the realm of reality, they operate zealously in a world of fantasy and without a smidgeon of shame. 

Yet, religions continue to flourish, hindering the dream of an inclusive society from becoming a reality. 

Instead, the religious are content to postpone a better world until the promise of the next world is realized. Sadly, they only believe that things will improve by worshipping a god who will exterminate millions of people who didn't endorse him, constantly creating the very real possibility of imminent danger for the unbeliever in the here and now. The unbeliever might as well debate a believer with quotes from a Harry Potter book, tit for tat. It would at least constitute a debate supported by fiction. 

So why do we keep trying?

I'm sure those of us who engage in fruitless discussions with people of faith do so for a multitude of reasons. For me, the drive to write articles and books on the topic is fed by the fact that I honestly worry that religion remains a very real impediment to social progress.