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Religious Tolerance logo

"About religion"

An essay donated by Charri Everson

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Religion has always fascinated me...a concept that has prompted hatred, intolerance, war, and genocide for as long as history shows, yet is supposed to be the teachings of God, whatever the name. Many religions have even taught the degradation of women as a whole, viewing women as a "necessary evil" -- necessary only for procreation and evil in that we have been put here as a temptation for dirty thoughts or acts to "good men."

I can't understand why humanity deems it necessary to complicate God so much, why humanity deems it necessary to warp the "will of God." I respect everyone's beliefs. Everyone has reasons or needs to believe what they will. I only wish that just for a moment, everyone would step back from their respective religions and all they've been taught to believe and see the whole picture as it is.

God is simple. I think of God as a parental figure. As a parent, I give my children the knowledge and gifts to be able to make it in the world and be a positive force. Whether or not my children will use these when they set off in the world will be their choices.

God gave humans three gifts...morality, emotion, and the ability to reason. There is no "divine intervention." God does not smite his children with disease or disaster out of anger or as a test. A loving parent wouldn't inject their child with cancer cells nor burn their house down out of anger or just to see how they'll fare spiritually and emotionally.

Sadness, disease, and loss are all a part of the human experience. Some are caused by the laws of nature and science while others are caused by people who haven't embraced God's gifts. None are by the wrath of God. We're God's children. We were given the gifts and have been set forth on our own. "God's will" is that we use these gifts to their fullest. For instance

  1. Emotion: "[People of that religion] make me so angry. They're trying to take over the world, pushing their blasphemous beliefs on everyone!"
  2. Morality: "No matter how angry they make me, I know I can't kill them. My conscience tells me it's wrong."
  3. Reasoning: "Maybe I should find out what exactly they're teaching, research it, and see if I can find a common ground between our religions and if I find it, spread the word that we do have something in common."

This person has just used all three gifts to their fullest and in doing so, has become a positive force in our world. No matter what happens to us in childhood or throughout our lives, we still always have those gifts. Traumatic experiences, childhood up-bringing, religious beliefs...these are no excuses to ignore our gifts, because in ignoring them we are ignoring God.

I don't believe religion is bad. I don't believe in religion at all. I don't believe we need it. This doesn't mean I would ever berate or degrade anyone for their belief in a religion. I tell my children that should they choose to follow a particular religion that I would never think less of them, nor would I try to change their minds. I only ask that they do the research and be truly informed of what or whom they are putting their faith. I've done the research and I find it sad to see how uninformed or misinformed most people are of their own religions, let alone other religions.

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Initially posted: 2006-JUL-27
Latest update: 2006-JUL-27
Author: Charri Everson

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