Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

In defense of religion

There are a lot of gross misconceptions made about religion and spirituality these days.

There are people who drive around with those bumper stickers that say “Religions are just cults with more members.” These grossly narrow-minded people think that religion is exactly what their bumper stickers tell them it is: a collectivistic entity that brainwashes people and uses them to its own ends.

Then there are people who think that they can concoct the perfect recipe for religion. They start with a vague understanding of Buddhism, add a dash of Hinduism, some meditation and incense, and then season to taste with a little old-fashioned, mainstream Christianity. These people think that religion is a custom-ordered, personalized way of looking cool and congratulating oneself at the same time.

I’m not going to spew the rhetoric of any particular faith: I’m not into that. But I want to make it clear that there is a difference between communion with a higher being and the self-serving, introspective practices that are often passed off as “religion.”

But much of the time, people who actually practice real religion are more detrimental to it than people who think their morning yoga class counts as religion. Religion can produce more hate and intolerance than anything positive.
Everyone loves to reject religion for this reason, but I think that’s too simplistic a solution.

The hateful and intolerant attitudes that often accompany religion are more a product of people being stupid and having a predisposition to hate rather than anything implicitly wrong with the religion.

These bigots are really frustrating, because they so effectively do the opposite of what they try to. They want to get more people involved in their religion. But they somehow imagine that the best way to accomplish that is by uncompromisingly professing only the aspects of their faith that they’ve twisted into hate.
Hate can be an effective way to get a group of people to agree on something. But if these people are trying to have a religious experience, they’re totally missing the point.

Religion is an individual experience. It is the relationship between man and a higher power. When people come together religiously, the point should be to support one another, not to collectively hate others.

Hatemongering religious people often get caught up on questions of belief. Someone will tell one of them something ridiculous like “You have to believe that homosexuals are going to hell, or else you will too.” So there are people out there who fearfully believe that homosexuals go to hell.

But they don’t realize that belief isn’t important at all. Even if we were to pretend that there’s something wrong with being gay (which is absurd) it still shouldn’t make any difference at all what you believe about it. And it really shouldn’t make enough difference to justify being hateful.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Whitman Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *