Monday, December 10, 2012

Religion as a Test

I always saw religion as a test in a sort of way. That the way we understand, practice, advise in religion. The things that people tell us or teach us that we chose to accept or reject, or emphasize. All this is a sort of test.

Example: I know at least two people who believe that homosexual sex is forbidden and I know at least two extremely different ways of dealing with this belief. One is to insult and grow hate towards gays and the other is to deal with them as they would with any other person who is not perfect in this life. With some respect, all the while not condoning or encouraging the lifestyle they personally disagree with. Just with the way that I wrote this paragraph, you can see who I feel has done a better job on "the test".

I personally don't believe it's forbidden so I'm not talking about myself in the above paragraph at all.

I've started to see religion in a slightly new way. Not even as a way to test us, but as the test itself. Will we fall for the desire to be part of a group, putting what we know is right aside to follow what we want to be right? Or will we actually follow what we believe deep inside us is right and deal with the criticism (and other consequences) that come with that?

This desire goes beyond religion and is something that even atheists or people who don't practice their religion go through though... They might not be part of a religious community, but they also have pressure to believe certain things and do things a certain way. Will they do it that way or will they search deeper?

People who are committed to their religion can read this post and think that the people who aren't committed to a religion are conforming to the society around them, not questioning as to what is right while they themselves have thought and made the decision to practice despite the consequences (like wearing hijab in the west, arranging breaks at work to pray 5x a day, etc.).

And those who are not practicing religion might see those who are as caving into pressure within the family or community, or falling for their need to belong to something if they converted after going through difficult relationships with family.

All of this for me to say that I don't know who is on a better path but they sure have a lot of similarities. Whether someone is or isn't religious, there are difficulties there to lead a person away from things that are good and I personally cannot say with any sort of conviction that I believe that religious people (like Muslims) are better off or closer to the right path than an atheist or non-practicing whoever. I simply don't believe that.

I just respect everyone's journey and the necessity of going through it their way.

2 Comentários:

SaritaAgerman said...

A really interesting and thought-provoking article. It's so easy to be judgemental and treat people according to your own beliefs when it's actually more important (in my opinion) to treat people with respect and kindness. Thanks for sharing. Sarita x

Susanne said...

good to see you posting here more. I enjoy reading your thoughts!

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