Religion and Respect

Religion and politics are two things I hate talking about in public. This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy discussing these topics with open and intellectual people. Most often than not, talking to close-minded people could end up in a mishap. Being open about my perspective on religion might not be taken lightly by some people.

I am an agnostic. This has been something my parents have wrestled with me through the years. They have called me every Sunday morning to remind me to go to church. They have also chastised me on my hospital bed to go back to god. It wasn’t until recently that they’ve given up. I guess they’ve finally sensed that they have a headstrong daughter. I just keep reminding them that despite how different my perspective on religion is, I do my best to live an honest and good life. It probably pains them to hear me reason out whenever I tell them that I don’t want to live a dishonest life by simply going to church and not practicing what I preach.

Gods in millions

The human race currently worships more than 33 million deities. This includes the thousands and millions of  Gods worshipped my polytheistic religions, like Shinto and Hinduism respectively. Monotheistic religions, in a historical perspective, have only been around more recently. We know for a fact that our ancestors have worshipped tons of gods and goddesses. Even in this modern world, polytheistic religions are still prevalent. How can you tell me yours is the only one that’s right?

What I hate about religion and what has gotten me to be open and free from it are people who push down their own religion and opinions down your throat without knowing why they believe what they believe in. I see both the beauty and flaw in every religion. Not one set of belief is more right or truer than others. Not one is mightier or even better than the rest.

At the core, most religions are the same. When you look at them with inquisitive eyes, you see that they teach the same basic values despite their differences. Once you peel the layers and the rituals, the basic tenets are the same.

Love is my religion

Like Ziggy Marley’s song, love is my religion. It really is. Take it or leave it. I believe I don’t need a religion to live an honest life. As long as I practice honesty and respect, I know I’m not doing anyone harm. This belief is personal, too. I am not converting anyone.

What good is a religion is when you don’t practice any of it? What good is going to church when once you step out of it, you turn a blind eye to the evils around you? I don’t see the point of religion when you don’t actually live up to it, when you don’t practice any of it, or when you live a totally dishonest life.

What’s sad is how we use religion and belief to discriminate others. Just because someone else’s belief is different from yours doesn’t mean they’re bad. Moreover, this has been used by man since the dawn of time to conquer and kill. Sometimes, we use religion as an excuse to do what we do.

I try to look at religion as a way of living. Often, it is a journey. It’s a guide that people use to live their lives. I admire people who live their faith. I see beauty in how they live their lives and I respect that. Sometimes, I wish there were more people like that. Instead of constantly being critical of others, why can’t we be more accepting and just live our lives accordingly?

Respect others

We’re all different. Shouldn’t we just revel in the beauty of difference? People have different perspectives, whether that’s religion or something else. What’s important is to respect that even if you don’t agree with it.

I guess it all boils down to learning how to co-exist with others and respecting differences. Just because someone or something is different from what we’re used to doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s just different. There’s nothing more to it.

Don’t just sit there with your pre-conceived assumptions and prejudices. Make an effort to understand people and their beliefs even better. Religion and spirituality are both personal. One shouldn’t be forced to take one up because society or people dictate you to. You shouldn’t pressure someone to take your own set of beliefs, either.

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