The Need for Religion

I’ve skirted around this topic a bit, but today I’m going to tackle it head-on.

I don’t believe in organized religion . . . for me.  I don’t believe that one religion is better than another, nor do I think that attending a particular church or ritual makes you more spiritual than someone who doesn’t.  I do believe that we’re all connected on this planet (animals, plants, water, air, etc), but I don’t think there’s one (or a group of) sentient being(s) manipulating things according to their whim; though I will admit to yelling at “the energies” when I get really angry at a situation (though in truth, I’m angry at myself for not handling said situation very well).  😉

I also don’t understand why people would want to believe in a religion where people are going to “Hell” unless they believe in these sentient beings.  Like religion, I don’t believe in Heaven or Hell, but if there were such places, why would someone who’s kind, generous, loving, gives to charity, treats people well, and minds his/her Ps and Qs–but doesn’t worship a deity–be doomed to an eternity of suffering, while someone who DOES attend church is “guaranteed” a place in Heaven for believing, even though they might be an alcoholic abuser who lies regularly, cheats on his/her spouse, kicks animals, murders people, or any other dastardly action?  What an ad campaign!  “You can do all the crappy things you want.  As long as you come and confess your sins weekly and pay us some money, you’ll be forgiven and will enjoy everlasting life!”  I gotta say, I’d want to boycott such a religion on moral grounds alone!

The Golden Rule

YAY! Someone shared this on FB, so I’m sharing it here.

I think I’ve mentioned before having worked for a short time for a company that promotes acceptance of all religions, and how I saw that each and every one of those religions (Jainism, Judaism, Christianity, etc) had as their most basic belief The Golden Rule: Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.  This was an eye-opener for me because until then, I had always heard one religion saying another didn’t hold the same things sacred, yet right there it was in black and white.  They were all worded differently, but the concept was still the same: Be Excellent to Each Other (to use Bill and Ted’s mantra).

I was discussing this with a coworker recently, and I expressed how awesome it was to see that proof that we’re all the same, even in our religions.  She responded by talking about how much she loved her God (she’s Catholic), and how she couldn’t imagine her life without him.  She even went on to say how, by believing in God and Christ, she was able to find her true purpose in life and all the other things that you hear uber-religious people say when they describe their belief system.

That’s when it hit me, why religion is so pervasive in the world.  Because people need something to believe in, and apparently believing in themselves isn’t enough for some individuals.  They want someone else to tell them what’s right and wrong.  They need to be able to hold someone or something accountable for things in their lives, other than themselves.

I don’t know much about the origins of other world religions, but history shows us that Christianity was started as a political thing, meant to keep people subservient.  Those who wanted to be in power adopted the pagan rituals, called them by different names, and told people “See, we have the same celebration.  We just call it ______.”  If people clung to their original beliefs, they were persecuted, vilified, tortured and oftentimes killed.  So over time, people adopted the new ways in order to keep their lives.

But even now, a couple thousand years and a lot less persecution later, it’s still an extremely strong religion, and those who believe in it can often become very defensive when you challenge the “truths” they’re taught on Sundays.  To be fair, my coworker is a very nice lady, and she didn’t become overly defensive, but I still noticed a “Don’t shake my beliefs” reaction in her, especially when she described how she wouldn’t know what her life would be like without God.

I can thankfully say that I don’t have that same sort of need to have my life or “purpose” here to be defined.  Yes, I believe there’s a reason for everything that happens, but I’m okay not always knowing what that reason is.  I’m very happy just floating through this world and experiencing things.  That might seem flighty, but I’m okay with that.  And yes, I want to be an author, a voice over artist or have other careers, but none of those define me, nor do I feel that my life will have been “wasted” if I don’t accomplish any of those goals.  I know I’m here for a relatively short time (by Universe standards, anyway), so I just want to experience whatever I can and enjoy it as much as possible.

However, having said all that, I’m glad I now have a better understanding of why some people cling so strongly to a religion.  Hopefully they find as much fulfillment out of it as my coworker does.

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bette Golden Lamb
    Mar 01, 2013 @ 08:13:22

    Well said. Excellent post, Alyx!
    Bette

    Reply

  2. eileenmagill
    Mar 01, 2013 @ 09:18:19

    Alyx, you hit my feelings squarely on the head. I was raised as a Roman Catholic, but always felt that “organized” religion was forced, fake. I feel closest to the world’s energy source (I suppose what most people consider God) when I am hiking – or away from people.

    Eileen

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Mar 01, 2013 @ 09:25:57

      I can see why you would, Eileen. In fact, since there are some religions that believe we each are God, you would obviously be closest to that source when you’re alone with yourself. 🙂

      Thanks so much for stopping by today, & for commenting.

      Reply

  3. Camille Minichino/Ada Madison
    Mar 01, 2013 @ 09:43:28

    For me, it takes a village (preferably the size of New York City) for me to experience the height of spirituality, the sense of oneness with other people.

    Reply

  4. Dana Fredsti
    Mar 01, 2013 @ 10:11:19

    I both agree with your assessment on why people need it, and am saddened that the beauty and amazing wonders of the world and the knowledge that we can make our own decisions and be responsible for being good people isn’t enough for people, now that we’ve learned that angry gods aren’t responsible for lightning, earthquakes, etc… but then… we are still evolving as a race and it’s a fascinating journey. And I”m definitely a nature baby when it comes to feeling “at one” with the universe…

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Mar 01, 2013 @ 10:26:13

      I read somewhere, Dana, that we’re in the Age of Aquarius now, where people won’t blindly believe things they’re told anymore. Questions will arise & out of the answers old beliefs will make way for new ones, & a conscious evolution will take place. I, for one, am excited to be alive during this time. It’ll be interesting to see where it leads us.

      Thanks for visiting today.

      Reply

  5. Dolly Chamberlin
    Mar 13, 2013 @ 08:28:43

    I questioned the contradictions when, as a teenager, I took classes to join the church. Their answers did not fit in my logic. I searched many theology concepts, & came to a similar conclusion, ‘we are one’, & cumulatively, we are the creator of our universe as we live. As energy, we/it constantly change. LOVES :}

    Reply

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