Why Religion has failed us as darkness continues to engulf the Earth. It is the biggest money making show known to man!
In our honest search for the face of God; we have been bedazzled by its theatrics from the first epoch of time when primitive holy men first discovered they could get fat off of the peoples generous sacrifices.
I have been open to accept the true Truths of all faiths. While at the same time acknowledging the great evil man has used religion for. Powerful text can move entire populations of people into action. By creating doctrine and dogma of fear, many a leader has controlled and manipulated his people's emotions. However I must first respect the good that religion has accomplished. I appreciate good intentions and practice. Yet, I feel that instead of allowing it to become a abstract god in itself, religion should be used as a stepping-stone, providing invaluable inspiration and wisdom towards this journey that we call life. I believe that every person should seek God first in their heart independently, as opposed to having dogma crammed down their throats at a young age. I feel that Children should be nurtured and taught to seek wisdom, and God's Love. The of the basic facts of life, will then come naturally, and then, may these precious ones be allowed to take what they have learned and make up their own mind about their viewpoints.
To keep itself alive, a controlling religion must bring forth a sense of fear and anxiety. This anxiety is not just a psychological state. Anxiety is, as Martin Heidegger says, "a type of human existence. Nor is anxiety similar to fear. Fear has an object, such as a snake or an enemy against which it is possible to defend ourselves." People's anxiety comes from the pressing down of time as we realize that we are all destined to die. Instead of worrying about today and the beauty that comes from every waking moment, I feel like some aspects of religions distract us from accepting the greatness that is right now. Should children be raised in fear?
The Qur'an tells the people of Islamic faith, "The true believers are those who feel a fear in their hearts when Allah is mentioned. This kind of a lifestyle must greatly affect an individual's existence, and how they experience their world. Take Muslim women for example. It is hard to see that beautiful smile underneath those heavy Burqas.
Further harm that I feel certain religions bring us, is it's inhibition to allow one to search for knowledge. The Holy Bible cautions against knowledge throughout. This statement is supported with the epistle of Paul in the book of Colossians 2:8. "See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophyâ€¦ according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ." Christians are expected to disregard beliefs that aren't either in the bible, or spoken at church. "For the priest's lips should KEEP knowledge, and others should seek the law at HIS mouth: for he is the messenger of God." (Malachi 2:7). Religion shifts focus from an interpersonal search, into having to accept the doctrine of others. The church brings about this herd mentality that becomes accepted by their followers. People switch on their auto-pilot, accepting almost anything that is put out in front of them. Doing so, they become close minded and prejudiced.
As in the case of Jehovah's witnesses, who believe that anybody who is not in their particular sect is not capable of entering the Kingdom of Heaven, fixed judgments of other people are already in place. These preconceived opinions can hurt our society. How is one to truly love thy neighbor if one doesn't respect their differences in belief?
In conclusion, I believe that spirituality depends on a personal search for truths. I don't believe that teaching little children about an eternity of fiery agony and unending pain is the way to recruit. True seekers and free-thinkers take the initiative to consider all information without the prejudiced influence of their peers. I don't find it rational to live by a set of rules that were made for farmers, Sheppard's, and fishermen living in a time of disease and death. To end, I will leave you with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, "God has no religion."
People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Take no one for granted and embrace all equally with joy!
Julie A. Manhan ...