This is not a touchy subject. Religion can be but belief is not. They are two different things, belief and religion. Belief is having faith or trust in something that you cannot prove exists. Religion is a system of rules created to control through exploitation of belief. With those explanations, I have know problem with belief but have serious problems with religion. ALL OF 'EM!
Belief is easy to understand. It comes from a need to understand. What Humanity couldn't understand it created a belief for until we evolved and grew enough to understand certain things. Our ancient ancestors' beliefs primarily dealt with the natural world. Some of those beliefs still exist today, which I think is still cool, given how much we know about the world now and how things work. But that was/is a very cool thing about beliefs which I like that religion takes away, the connection to the natural world. So called 'primitive' beliefs were directly connected to the world in which we lived, meaning we were A PART of nature and the world. And ultimately the universe. I like that. Another thing I really like about belief is even the things we have physical understanding of now in nature it doesn't supplant the old beliefs. The old beliefs just gives one a deeper meaning to these physical things we now know about. For instance, the mystery of lightning and thunder is not taken away because we understand how and why they happen.That is so cool.
The modern most popular religions separated Humanity from nature. Told us we were masters of the world and it is ours to do with as we see fit. Use it as we see fit. Already sounds like a power trip to me. Then you have 'leaders'. Those who interpret your beliefs for you to make you 'feel' safe about your place in this world and the next. Did you get that? "Interpret YOUR beliefs FOR you." Yeah. Didn't God, Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah give you a brain to think for yourself? Don't you read the same*book* as your so-called religious 'leader'? So WHY exactly do you need to have the information interpreted for you? Then these same 'leaders' demand money from you for listening to them interpret for you. This 'tithe' or 'donation' is for what exactly? Good blessings? A guaranteed path to 'Heaven'? A 'sacrifice' now for future blessings later? No. You are blessing them, those 'leaders', now for their future later and you are just out of your hard earned money. And that is the ultimate irony of religion. You have now transferred your belief from whatever Higher Power you followed to his/her/it's human intermediary, your religious 'leader'. Who appointed them to such a position? What makes them more special than you? They are in the same boat you are. Grow up on the same planet and read the same 'Word'. Also, the Big 3, Judaism-Christianity-Islam, all come from the same place. How are their modern followers SO different? Even within each faction there are a bunch of splinter factions, especially Chris (That's the one I'm most familiar with). Politics and power moves, that's why. Religions have nothing to do with belief and everything to do with control. Land grabs, wars, oppression-either by ethnicity and/or gender, politics, fund raising, or just plain rabble rousing: all products of religion.
I'm not some new-agey super spiritual energy weirdo or anything but I have my own beliefs. I have gathered together some things that I've experienced and learned throughout my life and made my own. I was raised to think for myself. Interpret information I receive no matter the medium through which I receive it. I don't need some other human filtering my beliefs for their financial gain. I am highly skeptical of anyone claiming they have special knowledge of ANY higher power and can help me gain that knowledge, too. Didn't you get it from a book? Well so can I. I don't understand how you can't see the level of arrogance it takes to tell someone you can help them with their belief in their god/higher power. And I, as a grown up and adult, had truly tried the Christian route, twice, and both times was severely disappointed at the 'leadership'. I keep my own counsel now. I need no intermediary between me an my Higher Power. I don't look down upon those that do, though. Being an individual and actually thinking for oneself isn't for everyone. Most people, it seems, need to be led. But we are in the 21st century, it's time for people to start waking up. What really baffles me about the power of religion is I know, either personally or by reputation, many who I consider to be intelligent people who do follow, very devoutly, some form of religion. That truly baffles me. My thing is, when you get to where you're supposed to get to when this part of your life is over (for many that place is 'Heaven'), you're supposed to be judged in some way before you get in, right? When you are there, you are there alone. If you are asked any questions about your life and/or your beliefs, you can't say, "Well, 'insert religious 'leaders' title and name here', said that..." Oh, no no no. YOU were asked, YOU must answer. But how are you gonna answer if all you were was a follower who had your beliefs interpreted FOR you? I'm just sayin'. Personally I think religion is childish and immature and cool for when you are young to keep you on some kind of decent path. The heart of religion is belief so there is good there but once you get yourself steady on your life path and, hopefully, start to think for yourself, you need to let religion go and be confident and strong in your own beliefs.
I was moved to write this post because I saw this evil ignorance and had to say something. What really gets me about this is the followers sitting there listening to this and basically agreeing with it. I'm sorry but that's how my and most of their ancestors were enslaved. (Using the same religion which is just one more problem I have with it, but I digress.) Not to mention it's just PURE EVIL. God judges not man. He needs to really read his bible. But see, that's the thing. I know he knows it and he uses it to get exactly what he needs. Control over his followers and their money. Suckers. I mean, really, C'MON SON!!!!! his name is DOLLAR! And that's what he wants and gets, dollars. And these dudes have arena sized churches full of people blindly following and giving. I'm keeping my earthly weapons close.
Look, I know some people just like the inclusiveness of religion: helps with the fear of the unknown, fear of dying and what's on the other side, fear of being alone, etc. And that's why it's so powerful and deceitful because it preys on your fear through belief. But I really have to question your intelligence if you follow ANY of these people with the mega supersize churches and are always on television spreading their word. Click on that link and watch that clip. I bet you plenty money THAT wasn't a televised 'sermon' Creflo DOLLAR was giving that day.
Wake up, people. Please.