Once again we find ourselves trying to unravel life’s mysteries, why are we on this earth? Where do we come from? What is the meaning to our living? and so on, no one has a definite and tangible answer to this existential questions. Hello readers, today I will be uploading a new post from a relatively new segment that I added a couple of months back titled Pandora’s Tower, you can follow this link here to find out the meaning and purpose of this new segment in its initial post: https://hybridbooks.wordpress.com/2016/08/27/pandoras-tower-a-fresh-start/
I plan on posting a new topic under this segment every Sunday(hopefully with ample consistency and focus this will be achieved). In my previous post, linked above, I stated that this segment is reserved for me to spout my own personal thoughts and opinions about certain topics and aspects of life. Today I want to talk on the presence and effect of religion in our society. Sit back, absorb this words and feel free to air your own opinions.
Religion, a practice evident in human society that incorporates elements of faith and belief and granting enlightenment and spiritual nourishment to its believers. I myself am a practicing believer of the Christian faith ever since I was a little child. I grew up on the doctrine and teachings of Christianity, but I would be lying if I say I never doubted my faith and the religion itself. Even as I write this, I am in a constant turmoil within myself concerning the validity of my own faith and belief. In relation to the questions that I posted above and due to the lack of specific answers to this ambiguous queries, most people turn to religion for solace, which in itself is not a bad thing after all, a five year old kid behaves during the Christmas season cause he is told Santa Claus is going to reward him for his good behavior. The reason I use this analogy is not to compare the idea of religion to programmed superstitions, but to highlight the close similarities. Most people believe in their certain deity cause they stand by the belief that by practicing their religion and following its doctrines, they would be rewarded bountifully.
Like I said earlier, I have my constant doubts about my christian faith, but that doesn’t mean I neglect its teachings. The bible is a wonderful book with epic stories of battle, wisdom, love, obedience and many more. However in some major parts of the world, Christianity as been used as a tool of mass control, certain individuals with firm knowledge of its doctrine pose as demagogues, indoctrinating several ignorant or illiterate people and manipulating their beliefs. I remember an old saying that a teacher from my high school usually uttered.
”If you control one’s belief, you control their lives”
That saying stuck to my mind like glue. In my country, i have witnessed groups of people who have been convinced to by their pastors or priests to give enormous amounts of money or their personal assets for the glory of God only to be hoodwinked and exploited. This example is one of the reasons of my constant doubt. I will share one instance that made me extremely apprehensive of my faith.
This happened when I was still a very little lad(love this word), my family had to go for a deliverance service, which is an event in most churches were ‘possessed’ people are brought for exorcisms. Typical each ‘possessed’ person is brought to the center of the church while we members all gather around in a circle, praying and rebuking the demons. On this fateful deliverance, as a young kid I remember the pastor coordinating the service would always demand that we keep our eyes closed cause it could be dangerous to stare while the demons are been cast out, lest they possess anyone whose eyes were open. As we stood around this particular young ‘possessed’ girl and the prayer session started, my youthful exuberant mind got curious and wondered.
”How cool would it be to see a demon live”
So while the pastor kept leading the prayer, I took a peek and behold I saw something, just not what I was expecting, cause while the entire congregation had their eyes closed, the pastor’s assistant, holding a jar of strange vicious liquid, probably a heterogeneous mixture of water and oil, poured this strange liquid to the floor which prompted the pastor to exclaim and declare that the demon had left the girl in a hurried mess. I was perplexed and dumbfounded, I felt like Dorothy when she found out the great Oz was a fraud, I felt conned that I didn’t get to see any demons, worse of all, the poor girl who had just been exorcised was also too confused to speak, wondering if she actually puked out this hideous quagmire that now laid on the floor. This was just an example of one of the things I witnessed that made me question my faith.
But on the contrary, I have also witnessed certain events that also made me understand the importance and advantages of religion in our society, I had a friend in college, who was having a really difficult time coping with the university life, he was always homesick and depressed and couldn’t focus on anything, especially his school work. One momentous day, as we all prepared for an upcoming calculus exam that scared us all, this boy, who had been trying his hardest to understand the school work lost his mind, the stress cobbled with the homesickness and depression that had been building up over time exploded in a fury of raw and incoherent emotions as he went nuts, renting his clothes off his body and running naked on the street. It was truly a sad and disheartening sight. Thankfully, his parents heard about his mental breakdown and flew in to take him home, and after a couple of months he was back to school, his mental state healthy, his resolve solid and his confidence bolstered. While he was home he had converted into the christian faith and had found solace in its axiom. He was a changed man, he became more focused and driven, it was like watching Two Face revert back to Harvey Dent. Seeing this guy’s total rehabilitation really touched me and made me understand the importance of religion as a coping mechanism for some people.
My point is religion, much like many other concepts in society is a tool for healthy living and societal relationship but it can also be weaponized into a tool of manipulation and subordination. I used to have thought provoking arguments with an atheistic friend of mine who believed that religion was the major cause of most of the problems on earth, while he isn’t entirely wrong, that argument can be used for a myriad of other things in society like education, entertainment, technology etc. But I recall on particular day when he asked me a really intriguing question. He said
”What will I do if I found out with empirical and factual evidence that there was no God”
He wanted to know if I would tell as many people I knew, would be angry or renounce my religion. I thought about it and told him, I simply won’t tell anyone, and my reason was simple. If anyone was to reveal indisputable evidence of the non existence of God, that would lead to chaos and apostasy worldwide similar to the season finale of Preacher. People who had been in their faith for a large amount of their life would probably be vexed and decide to indulge in their deepest worldly proclivities that they have been harboring for years. What I am trying to say is just like the five year old who believes that doing right will earn him benefits during the Christmas period, an individual believing in his own faith to do good can be a positive thing. Of course there are moralistic people who don’t believe in any deity and yet still live good and inspirational lives(cause basic common sense is enough to discern what is right and wrong). Over the years I have come to think of myself as a believer in henotheism which is the belief in one’s own deity while accepting the existence and doctrines of others. I view myself as a child of the world, learning everyday and implementing my found knowledge into my personal life, I may be a Christian, but I’ve read on the concepts of other religions and mythologies like Hindu, Greek, Norse etc and each and every one of these other beliefs have their own stories and teachings which can be beautiful. I just wish the world would learn to accept other people for their beliefs and religions without prejudice cause after everything we are humans first before anything else and it shouldn’t matter what one’s religion, race, tribe or belief is. I will leave you with a maxim I came across recently from an unknown source.
Humanity should be the only race and charity should be the true religion.
That’s all I have to talk about today, please don’t forget to like and subscribe for more musings like this and feel free to comment below, do you agree or disagree with my post? Kindly air your opinions below and till next time. Szia.