Saturday, April 23, 2011

Somebody just told me (commanded me actually) that if I don't believe anymore in the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, I should start attending services of other sectors to prove my belief in God and my worth as a person. In short, I have to pick another church to worship in. No middle, no wiggle room. No grey area, just  black and white.

As a self-proclaimed freethinker (I believe in God / higher being, but not in any established religion because I see them as medium and sources of hate, wars, corruption and discrimination) I do not understand the concept of having to have a label attached to your name that you are either Catholic, Christiam, Muslim, Buddhist etc. to be considered as a good, God-loving, God-fearing person. It hurts me to think that other people see me in a different light just because I happen to not believe in the traditions and dogma that comes with established faiths.

Why can't I just live by my principles in peace without people thinking I'm turning into a devil-worshiper because I don't adhere with the rules and customs invented by charismatic people and believed by many? I do not understand how, in this day and age of technology and freedom of expression, people can still be so close-minded to think that there is this unwritten rule that you have to be a follower of a popular religious institution to essentially be considered as a person worthy to enter heaven or any alternative thereof of everlasting life. 

This kind of behavior further strengthens my belief that religion in general do more harm than good in the world. Yes, there is the hope that they give, the companionship, the idea that you can just come into this church and everything will be fine. But there are also wars, killings, various acts of violence, discrimination, hate, abuse and outright oppression of basic rights of people.

Imagine, sang John Lennon, a world with no religion. Imagine no suicide bombers, no 9/11, no 7/7, no Crusades, no witch-hunts, no Gunpowder Plot, no Kashmir dispute, no Indo/Pakistan partition, no Israel/Palestine wars, no Serb/Croat/Muslim massacres, no Northern Ireland 'troubles'. Imagine no Taliban blowing up ancient statues, lashing women for showing an inch of skin, or publicly beheading blasphemers and apostates. Imagine no persecutions of the Jews - no Jews to persecute indeed, for without religion they would long ago have intermarried with the surrounding populations.

How many people had their lives taken by some religious act of righteousness or gave up their souls for some higher purpose that involves blowing up a building full of innocent people? How many have been persecuted, discriminated and shunned just because their way of living isn't acceptable based on the faith of the people they are surrounded by?

Now, I believe wholeheartedly in the existence of a higher being, God, deity, absolute spirit, divine entity or whatever you may want to call it. And I know that a lot of people cannot separate the connection between God and religion because, for many, they are ultimately the same. But they are not, and in fact, in my perception, they are eons apart, for one is an ultimate being that transcends reason, science and logic, and the other is an organized belief system created and organized by  mere humans to feel more powerful and one with a higher realm. Closer to God, yes, but also closer to becoming one

I am a dreamer. I dream of a future where there is no hate, no wars based on contradicting beliefs. I know this concept is far from reality, but nothing is ever going to stop me from hoping.

Being alone in my belief (at least based on the people I know personally), all I can do now, is leave you this song by the legend John Lennon. I've never paid much attention to this song before, but have found it instrumental in my argument against religious labels and close-mindedness. With this, I wish the world love, happiness and peace.

Imagine there's no countries 
It isn't hard to do 
Nothing to kill or die for 
And no religion too 
Imagine all the people 
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us 
And the world will live as one


Nikolaos Spanoudis said...

We share the same sentiments. I thought before that there was no God but I end up praying/thanking someone during my tough/great times. That's when I believed that there is really someone out there and I don't need to listen to corrupt institutions to make a good follower. I find myself a spiritual person even though I practice no religion.

Clarriscent said...

I feel exactly the same. Just looking around the world; seeing nature, random miracles etc. strengthens my faith that there is a higher being who makes it all possible. However, I don't feel the need to HAVE to adhere strictly to a certain institution full of rules, hypocrisy and hate. Why can't people understand that? I'm so glad to know I am not alone in my principles. Thanks for commenting!

Eunice Joy said...

I read your blog, the one about the RH Bill, re-twitted by Lea Salonga. It's compelling. As I read through your posts, I've observed a few things: you have convictions and you stand and fight for them; you have a big heart - compassionate and desires justice; you have a brilliant mind; you're very passionate; you have pretty strong beliefs, and you may not know it, but you desire truth.

I really like you...and I echo your sentiments: I'm a dreamer, I don't believe in religion. One can be sincere in anything, especially in their beliefs but they can be sincerely wrong. That's why the world is blowing up today. I believe in God. Our difference is I know God...personally, and He knows me.

Can I tell you a secret? Truth is not place, principle, belief or idea, truth is a person. I practice no religion, but I follow a person. God doesn't want our religion, he wants a relationship with us. I like how you wrote that "one is an ultimate being that transcends reason, science and logic." True. He's too big of a Being to be understood by our meager human mind. Our thoughts could only amplify our need to know His truth and love. And I believe that that is what Lennon yearns for, a world of truth and love.

You're in a position that realized this world is hopeless. That's the best place to know about the truth. I hope you search for truth, that you'll seek & know it with all your heart, and I assure you, you will also find love and a real world/a life better than what John Lennon imagined. I know I'm living it, and I'm fighting so that other people can live it too, and that includes you...after all God did say "When you come looking for me, you'll find me."

I'm sorry if it's long, just got carried away.
I really like how you write!
Keep writing!

Clarriscent said...

@Eunice Joy

Thank you for all the compliments and for reading my posts. I like how you said that God doesn't want our religion, he wants a relationship with us, and I wholeheartedly believe that. I think, yes, you're right, I am in search for the truth but I also am aware that I may not find it in this lifetime. That said, I remain close to my personal God while being open to other's beliefs as well, although I'm pretty sure I will not be settling in to a single religious institution / dogma anytime soon, and probably, well, ever.

Thank you for the insight, for reading what I have written and taking time to write all these kind words. I appreciate your thoughts and wish you all the best. :)

Anna said...

Exactly my thoughts. It's such a shame that when you start to question the true essence of religion, people would immediately think of you as someone who has gone astray and who is now walking towards the lair of the devil. I'm happy to know that some people share my sentiments.

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