I would like to believe that like education, religion is a socially constructed institution meant with noble intent. God has no religion. Religion is a man-made dogmatic construct hell bent on controlling and instilling fear. “Religion. It's given people hope in a world torn apart by religion.” ― Jon Stewart.
Why is it that people ruthlessly judge each other on basis of religion? Why do religious folk feel a need to force their beliefs on others? One would think that we have evolved beyond limited thinking and can accept that there can never be one way of seeing things or a singular truth.
In my unofficial capacity as an 'armchair critic', I like to prod at below the surface issues that squirm their way into our social landscape. With the world's current state, most people are in need of solace and comfort; to be assured that there is positiveness and hope somewhere in this "mess".
As an agnostic, I believe in uncluttered existence and the words of the Dalai Lama XIV best summarise it, “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.”
The forceful and desperate need to view Christianity as paramount has distorted it. Now, every crook, con, Jezebel or Thomas can ply God and claim good for their own gain. “Anyone who thinks sitting in church can make you a Christian must also think that sitting in a garage can make you a car.” ― Garrison Keillor. Worse still, it has become so easy for people to bastardize the word of God; to cheat, lie to, trick, con and rob others, claiming to be "men and women of God."
The world is filled with people who preach Good but practice Evil. It’s like people who smile with you and do terrible things to you. Human beings are tricky creatures: a person can be good as they can be bad.
Not even 70 percent of the people who claim to be 'Holy"; and judge, condemn others are as "Good" as they claim to be. How about practicing the things you preach? No judging, no stealing, no adultery, no drinking, no lying etc. I always tell my "holier than thou" Christian acquaintances that if anyone thinks I am going to hell, they are going with me. I plan to take my tote bags filled with my favorite pairs of heels for "those last moments when the fire is high, and the dark man with the fork begins to chase us".
There is no problem with people who share the word of God with those who are interested or in need of comfort; it’s a positive deed. The problem is when they assume a superiority position and want to believe they are better. Some people will quote verses, say all sorts of things in an attempt to instill fear and create bad feelings or stir negative energy for not sharing their views. Do we really expect all people to be religious or Christian? A totalitarian social environment? Some even encourage an attitude of irresponsibility as they create an impression that you can pray problems away. Prayer is useless if not followed by action. We need to learn to assume responsibility; take action, be proactive and conscious.
As much as the religion has brought a sense of hope and inspiration to our people, fairytales and all, it has equally brought a lot of negativity as we fail to use it genuinely. There is also a general tolerance of religious concealed trickery, to the point where some people fail to draw the line between Godly possibilities and stupidity.
Perhaps, dear 'friend", I am a "lost gentile filled to the brim with blasphemy". You know what real blasphemy is? Using the word of God in vain. One can pretend to people; you can lie to people, but you can't lie to yourself and the universe.
What did Tupac say in his song Changes (when Hip hop still made real sense) 'It's time for us as a people to start makin' some changes. Let’s change the way we eat, let’s change the way we live and let’s change the way we treat each other. You see the old way wasn't working, so it’s on to us to do what we gotta do to survive.'
We are all the same, whether you believe in God, Jah, Allah, Badimo, fairytales, Satan; we all want similar things and On the Flipside, somewhere in this little heart of mine, I believe that everyone is essentially good.