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Faith is a beautiful thing. Religion however...

This morning I read the Kirk Cameron article linked below and felt compelled to respond:


“I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”

Faith, is a beautiful thing. 

By its very nature, faith in anything allows us to believe in something bigger than ourselves and through that belief we are awarded a certain measure of humility.  My childhood unfortunately taught me that faith and religion are two very different animals.  It is my personal opinion that religion, though built around the idea of faith, is about creating a measure of control.  Religion is a collection of rules that encourages the creation of an ‘us’ and ‘them’ mentality, a mentality that allows those who deem themselves to be righteous, by being the best at adhering to those rules, to sit in judgement of those people they wish to make a ‘them’.

The outcome, is ‘righteous’ intolerance and as it is seen as ‘righteous’ by those who practice it, anyone who dares question it is met with a profound amount of anger.

As I said, I have a deep respect for faith; I have a deep respect for spirituality.  I have no respect for blind, unswerving obedience to rules that are not scrutinised, or questioned; I take issue with anything that discourages thought.

All religion views itself as the ultimate truth, yet despite this belief in its correctness, this resolute and unswerving faith in itself, all religions casts judgement on any attempt to investigate other ‘lesser’ religions, beliefs, philosophies or ideas. Wouldn't an ultimate truth be assured in the knowledge that exploration of other lessor ideas would prove it's position as a superior belief system?

I was once deeply religious and as a result I struggled with fear, guilt and deprivation on a daily basis.  I am so grateful to now be free of that, though to get there caused me great pain and personal anguish, not to mention an incredible chasm in my family.

If you are religious, know that I'm not here to debate evolution vs creation. I understand the religious argument that if you find a watch 'I'd assume it had a watchmaker, That a muffin presupposes a baker, So you must agree sooner or later, That this proves that there's a creator'. (Tim Minchin)

Let's agree for the sake of argument that there is in fact a god. If you are religious, what I'm suggesting you ask yourself  is—why do I believe in my god? Not ‘A’ god, but MINE. 

Is it because your parents were that religion?  Is it the dominant religion in your country?  In my case the answer to both those questions was yes, and upon realising that it gave me reason to pause.  There are a lot of other religions out there, and in some cases there are whole countries following them.  

Doesn’t it seem just a touch shallow, or even arrogant, to believe that they are all wrong, just because it’s not what you were raised to believe, or what your neighbours choose to believe? 

Aren’t the reasons behind how you live your life on a day to day basis, or your belief in an afterlife, something worth being sure about, something worth scrutinising?

Consider the next time that you dismiss someone else's beliefs, that somewhere, there are about a few billion people dismissing yours too for almost exactly the same reasons you dismissed theirs - and yet none of those reasons are good ones.

I say that without judgement.  After all, even atheism is a belief of sorts.

And if a few billion people in another country could be right, and you could be wrong... consider that your righteous intolerance of others, isn't actually that righteous.

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