The Great Religious Post

No matter how much I promise myself that I will NOT breach the subject of religion on my blog, it's always at the back of my head, and when there's stuff in my head, it usually drags me to the keyboard, kicking and screaming... My mum gets pretty pissed off about the fingernail scrapes on the walls.

There are several reasons I don't want to write a post about religion. The best of these reasons are that writing it would be like opening Pandora's box, and that I don't quite want my thoughts on religion known (lest someone reports me as "Objectionable Content").

No, I'm not exactly a fanatic.. Not exactly...

Too many people ask me about my religion, and the truth is, I don't know what to say. To say that I'm an atheist wouldn't be entirely correct because I don't know whether God exists or not, and I can't make a call on something I don't know. Then I thought, Well, that makes me agnostic, but that didn't quite stick (I'll tell you why in a while). So now I'm stuck wishing all forms would incorporate anti religious instead of "I prefer not to say". Ticking the "I prefer not to say" box actually says a hell of a lot about you.

So why exactly am I 'anti-religious'? Well, if you haven't guessed already, I suggest you grab the nearest newspaper and tell me how much of it has anything at all to do with religion. Religion has infiltrated every single aspect of our lives, it governs the way we do almost everything, and it inspires darkness rather than showing us the light... It's like Facebook on steroids..

Sure, the basic idea of religion was to do good in the world.. But something just went terribly wrong and God's grand plan was screwed up by man... in the form of religion. Religion is man-made. I was filling up some NHS forms for my family yesterday (since it's a lot of work, I'm principal form filler for my family). I ticked "Hindu/Hinduism" for my family, and I filled out "None" for me. I guess that pretty much means the same as Anti-religious, but anyway, conversation ensued:

Mom: "Tsk... I've seen a lot of people like you in my time... Who say that they don't belong to any religion"

Me: "I'm not saying I don't believe in God, I'm just saying religion is perverting the very course of God's plan."

Mom: "What's wrong with religion?"

Me: "What's wrong with religion? Why is there so much anger and killing in the name of religion? And why even worship God this way or that? Why not just do it our own way?"

Mom: "Yes, do that then"

Me: "Which is what I'm doing!"

All I'm saying here is that religion sure is the cause of a lot of good in the world, but why do we twist it until it causes discomfort, darkness, anger and pain for others around us? What exactly IS religion other than a set of beliefs? Why must it dictate everything we do? Why is it that even if you sin, it becomes okay if you go to your respective place of worship and ask for forgiveness? Think about it... Who really is forgiving you? Your priest. So what you're saying technically is that if your conscience was a person... it would be him? At the end of the day, the yardstick you measure yourself by is the weight of your conscience...

Think Christianity... Why is it that there are no female priests? Think Islam... Why are Muslim women not allowed to enter the inner sanctum of a mosque? Why are their husbands allowed to be polygamous, while they are beaten and killed if they dare accuse someone of rape? Think Hinduism... Why is it that the caste system still exists in a developing country like India? I'm not pointing any fingers here, I'm sure there are tons of things wrong with a lot of other religions (and my god there are so many)...

And you wanna know what the scariest bit is?? That if we had a chance to start over with absolutely no memory... We'll still somehow evolve into our stupid beliefs... I can't say I believe in God, because I don't know if the God that you say exists, does really exist. I guess I just hate the idea of not being in control of my fate.

But I can tell you that I know there is a higher power than all of us, and most times, that power is used as an excuse to explain the unexplained. But sometimes, it fits, and it makes sense, and we catch a glimpse of that positive force. And it's beautiful.

Why contaminate that beauty with such a thing as base as religion?


18 comments. Share an Idea ]:

taxitalk said... 3 May 2008 at 09:45  

you can't control it, it shows itself to you, you make your decisions around it, but you can't control it and that pisses people off and they think they can control it and the shit hits the fan but maybe what's happening on the planet has a bigger purpose, maybe it's a way to get the world back on track, if god is real then a place like earth is special, hey and don't forget the devil, Satan, hitler

noelia ~ said... 3 May 2008 at 17:01  

i know EXACTLY what you mean. in my old blog, i got moderated for writing religion blogs hahaha but i had it coming though, i wrote some not-really kind things haha but yeah, like you said, religion isn't enlightening anymore, it's become a business. and that's why i don't categorize myself like you. sure, i'm an atheist, but i just don't believe in anything at all.

Anonymous said... 4 May 2008 at 03:43  

Well, I am religious. But it's like my own religion. I don't believe everything that my own religion says. What makes sense to me is what I practice. It's a really personal thing I can say. For me, as long as you mind your own business and let me mind mine, I am okay.

But I HATE fundamental thoughts. Hello, it's all about learning new things and growing in the process. When it comes to fundamentalists, I think it's really like taking ten steps back to medieval ages, where we thought thunder-storms is God's wrath!

againstthegrain said... 4 May 2008 at 07:50  

I loved this blog! meaning that, i loved it because I agree with it. maybe its cause I hate anything that is restricting. Hmm. Well mom and dad raised us to be the most irreligious set of kids ever.
I definitely respect peoples choices in life, but like you said, I believe in most cases it does more harm than good.
From the things I've seen, religion just scares me, its control. Hmm..

bRaT said... 5 May 2008 at 01:17  

@taxitalk: but then you have to argue that the last time stuff went wrong with the world, God just ordered a certain someone to load a ship with two of every kind... I love lore..

@noelia: that's exactly what I wanted to say.. it's just stopped being enlightening.. thanks :)

@quarterpastseven: so that basically means you're practising your own religion? or are your 'borrowed' ideals entirely dependent on the foundation of a religion? I'm guessing your religion here, and I'm surprised you can still find things to practice out of it..

@againstthegrain: interesting observations :) i can't say I don't agree... and you've brought up something else... the whole parent-kid religion thing... it wasn't there for you, but it has been there for loads of others... hmm.. maybe a part two? :)

jeff said... 5 May 2008 at 09:52  

Religion is like a lot of things twisted and distorted by man in order for man's use. It's not alone.

bRaT said... 5 May 2008 at 10:08  

@jeff: I agree... but religion is also unnecessary... which makes all the difference... people will still act and look upon the world the same way whether religion exists or not...

tina said... 6 May 2008 at 16:19  

i do agree with you on religion as a man-made thing. i'm a cradle catholic, and i find it really hard to swallow a lot of the roman catholic church's commands, mainly being unquestioningly obedient to your superiors. -_-;; i believe that intellect is one of the greatest gifts god gave humanity, and it's disrespectful to him (or her, if god is supposed to be a spirit so why is god a he...?) if you don't use it to criticize what other people tell you... i guess i've just got a lot of pesky questions the church's answers to which i can't bear to swallow.

"objectionable content"? good grief. i didn't know blogger required blogs to be *that* politically correct... seriously. XP that's just sad.

Elise said... 6 May 2008 at 16:32  

Well I guess you could say I'm religious. I believe in God. I don't follow the traditions of religion but I know that I believe.

Its interesting how you say you're not sure if you believe in God because you don't know whether he's there or not. The whole point in believing is that you don't know for sure. xx

Lala said... 7 May 2008 at 12:08  

This is really thought provoking. And good for you for putting your thoughts on this up.

A lot of religions are distorted. It's kind of sad. Like how we discriminate against Muslims cuz we think they're automatically terrorists. And how Christians and Creationists are crazy fanatical and cult-like in their teachings or whatever. I think if we actually looked into those religions, we would find something much different.

Great blog post though. =]

Anonymous said... 7 May 2008 at 16:14  

Well, I am a Hindu, as you might have guessed. And to avoid any hassles, I just mention myself as a Hindu on forms. I really don't care how the world sees me as. But I think the concept of God and religion is a very personal thing. For me, I think we create God in our minds as a form of security, to somehow ensure to us that things will turn out the way we want it too. My way of practicing religion is whatever makes me connect more to that feeling. It can be as simple as sitting quietly, or as obsessive as giving up one vice for a month. Whatever works.:)

Does this Make Sense to anyone?

JW said... 11 May 2008 at 02:19  

I can agree with your post. I have the same or similiar feelings. I used to be involved in the church very heavily but I got disillusioned by what I saw. Sure, people are not perfect but I have always told people in the church that I am not looking for perfect people. I was looking for mature people in the spirit and that is a hard commodity to find.

Sometimes I wonder if God exists, I believe He does but it gets hard to see His Hand move in the earth. I have a post or 2 on my blog about some christian stuff I wonder about.

tina said... 11 May 2008 at 15:04  

@quarterpastseven yes, it does make sense :) giving up a vice a month? that's a pretty tough commitment, isn't it? but if it's in the name of god, why not? :)

Earric said... 16 May 2008 at 20:32  

You think so much like me that it's scary.

Sigourney said... 17 May 2008 at 03:18  

So, you're saying, you're agnostic? I've given religion much thought throughout my life because my parents are Catholic. They are hardcore, practicing ones. What I notice, however, is the way the contradict their beliefs on a daily basis. Noticing this was what pushed me to doubt what I had been taught since I was born. I had so many debates, conversations, etc. about Christianity and Catholicism with pastors, fellow students, everyone. You know, hardcore Socrates style. lol... and I came to the realization that I can't help, but believe there must be a God in the world. But I believe God created the world however he created it, but left it to work through reason rather than faith. In history there are so many violent wars because of faith that I think by now, everyone should just about think that this "faith" isn't worth killing people for. My beliefs are purely deist. Because history shows that reason and rationality works in the world and in governments and faith doesn't.

maliha's musings said... 19 May 2008 at 11:26  

well i agree and disagree very stongly with you! you see your right, religion is a set of beliefs, i can believe in the sky as my shelter( mind you, jains- digambara's i believe they're called), i can believe in peace and frolic(hippies), i can believe in Pantheism and marvel at the universe, i can believe in sunshine,rainbows and skipping across the moon! so sorry REM there is no losing my religion

magnificomaliha said... 19 May 2008 at 17:49  

secondly, i dont think religion is bound by what we perceive it to be, in the place we're familiar with itit changes from region to region! pour example, women can enter mosques quite happily in most parts of the world except india, polyandry is found in the caribbean islands and parts of africa.Its all about perspective religion doens't necessarily provide us specific results- it gives peace to some,helps other see light when consumed in darkness, helps others like me get educated about so much in life.
life would be pretty rudimentary without religion.Its my excuse to believe- in the goodness of ppl, in luck, in karma and good faith. It gives a reality check and lets you blame someone else;) but lets you be self accountable too
so i dunno if there's one god, or many,i also dont know if there's a kindly spirit, bogey man, fairies, goblins or monsters under our beds but i know we've all believed in one of them once, whats god got to do with belief anyway?

lakshmi said... 11 August 2008 at 17:21  

indeed its sad that people tend to equate religion & spirituality...riligion, according to me is just a way of life & nothing more while sprituality is something deeper, a state of mind where u feel connected to god or what ever u perceive as the ultimate life force...its important to be spritual,religion is secondary.

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