“Do you believe in religion?” This is the question Fred Kat asked me last time he emailed me. And Fred, I need to apologize… You asked this question in April.
I have sat down at my computer and attempted to answer this question 1000 times. And deleted everything. Every time.
Is it because I’m afraid I’ll be persecuted? Perhaps I don’t wish to be told that I will be going to hell? Maybe I know my beliefs cannot be defended against criticism?
Or perhaps I think you are all idiots and I don’t want to waste my breath on something that you will never grasp?
None of these are true. Although some humans are idiots, of course. (He runs ‘Merica atm)
So what is my problem with religion?
It’s none of your business.
And that is my answer because it is also none of my business what you believe.
So the answer is I don’t believe in religion.
Do I believe in a higher power? Yes. Does it matter or affect me in any way shape or form if you believe in a higher power? Not at all.
Do I call my higher power a specific name, do I distinguish a gender? No, depends on my mood and how I am connecting to my higher power that day. Humans have had thousands of different names and words to describe or call the gods. Is the name really important? I think more depends on how I live my life versus what I call my higher power. So why do you care?
Do I believe that you should be allowed to practice your beliefs in anyway shape or form? As long as you are not harming another living creature physically, emotionally, socially, financially, or mentally, absolutely.
Do I think people should be allowed to perform rituals and or ceremonies in a gathering with like-minded individuals? Sure.
Do I get to tell you all about my beliefs, how I have all the answers, and how to live your life in order to have a “heavenly” afterlife? Is it my job to “save” you? Fuck no. And it is not your business to try to “save” my soul either.
Spirituality, our relationship with the spiritual/divine realm, whatever you want to call it, is a PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. There is no right or wrong to believe in. And how much suffering has been caused by trying to prove that one religion is “true” and all others are “wrong”?
So go ahead, go to church, mosque, a meditation or prayer group and have a ritual or ceremony together. Celebrate that you view the divine in a similar manner! Find joy and support in a community. But don’t make it an “us” versus “them”. Respect that others will have a different experience, different perspective, and different interpretation of the mythical.
Allow governments to do their job and be the ones to create laws centering on human rights. While spiritual establishments should be there to allow people to gather and discuss their spiritual experiences, partake in ceremonies, rituals, and celebrations together, and aid those who want to explore their spirituality. Ultimately religious establishments should be focused on making people better humans, not better Catholics, Muslims, or Buddhists. Human.
Until this becomes the reality, I don’t believe religion is a positive thing in our world. We have twisted something that could have been beautiful into a weapon to hurt others and then a shield to not take responsibility for our own actions. We use religion as a way to spread ignorance and hate.
Do you agree with me? Or feel that I am being unfairly pessimistic about religion and humanity? Please share any thoughts about this!