Religion: A short insight

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a short insight on religion

Submitted: August 09, 2008

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Submitted: August 09, 2008

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I am a christian. Big deal.

But so what? does it make me any more superior among my peers? Does it gain me an advantage? Do I have the rigth to boss the non-christians now? Nope! not a chance. I'm still just a normal man, only with an identity, a christian man. But let me get this straight, does religion have anytinhg to do with anyone in particular? The answer is both a yes and a no.

Yes, because with this thing called "faith" and "integrity", a person gains confidence, ambition, morals and most importantly, camaraderie. The Philippines is considered as the catholic capital of asia and majority of filipinos are christians. The muslims are plenty too however they are outnumbered by christians due to the fact that the spanish regime left them immobilized in mindanao. Going back to the topic of camaderie; many of us Filipinos encourage each other to come to church every sundays. Most die-hard filipino christians even go to church on weekdays before going to their workplace. Somehow I would say, religion is unity among members. We cannot praise a particular higher being (or god if I prefer) alone, so we ask others to join us. Maybe one of the reason religion is established is for unity among people in a particular mass of land. The europeans did the world conquest not only to find greener pastures, but to spread christianity, the religion of most colonized countries at those times. The arabs do the same thing with their fellow middle easterners, and so Islam is the prime religion of most middle-east countries. The Philippines became a melting pot of both christianity and islam due to these conquests, and it pretty much shaped us as a nation. I'm not sure about the other religions but I'm pretty sure they did a good job too. Buddhism spread in most of north-eastern asia like china and japan, while the root of christianity, Judaism is gaining members in most parts of the United States and so on. I guess religion is a good thing after all since its is something that affects one person to another. It's like a contagious disease that transmit from one person to another and affects the lives of each other.

Another good point; this thing called "faith". Well, enough of these stories of the christian saints and their stories of how holy their works are. Let me tell you a story bout these buddhist people from nepal who walk down several miles from the himalayas mountain range all the way to india just to see their "Dalai Lama". A documentarist analyze these people and tell a story of their hardships ever since the Dalai lama moved away from their country. In practice, taking pictures of the Dalai lama at thos times is illegal but fortunately this documentarist guy have some wallet sized pics of the Dalai lama before he moved to india. He handed them over to some of these people and the took it like a blessing by placing the picture on their forehead. As you see, we filipinos may be even worst when it comes to christian symbolism. But the point is, even in small things, we put faith in it. Thats how strong the impact of religion is to others, it not only gave them the will to face life, it also gave them the will to figth for what they believe in.

You may be asking; "wheres the 'no' part?". Brace yourselves. Religion is also a powerful tool for destruction. Yep, holy wars are very inevitable. Do you ever wonder what those "Crusades" are for? thats rigth! to drive away, or should I say, eradicate islam in most parts of the english territory overrun by muslims. The way of the sword is not taught in christianity (let alone judaism) but why did this occur? Well, what else, landgrabbing. The muslim tribes conqured some areas, the catholics needed that area, they declare war. And not just war, a HOLY WAR. I can't believe the pope at those times used the power of religion to tell the government that they need a call to arms "in the name of GOD". I mean c'mon! They could declare war even if theres no religious basis, so why involve the church? This one of the conflicts that fueled the rage between islam and christianity, even up to now. And who would pay the price of their obscure ways? Us. Thats right, we have to suffer discrimination from each other because of these wars of religion.

Another thing; like I said "discrimination". Most Chistians see the muslims as violent people, most muslims see chirstians as a source of prejudice and lawlessness. The hatred is always there, and others are forced to move to another sect of the said religion because of the "errors" in teachings. As of this writing, there are more than a hundred sects of catholics. The biggest problem of religion is the way we see things a rigth or wrong. To us its rigth, but to them it iswrong. The issue here is, we thought our religion is the only thing rigth and the rest is wrong. With this behaviour, discrimination follows and the chain of hate follows. If only we are more open-minded, may be this chain of hate will be cut short.

Lastly; religion is not used properly by most of us. You may find this funny, but some religious leaders here run for a position in the government. Some of them are inconsiderate enough to ask for public upheaval to bring down the current administration. Are these the people we should follow? Using religion for personal use is very unnaceptable. Just because you are a religious leader (of any religion for that matter) doesn't mean you are of a higher power to the civilians, or even so, to the government. Remember, there should always be a fine line between church and state. If they are trying to prove something, prove them, but dont carry the name of the church along with them. Maybe the crusades never left us even in this modern age.

Even so, what is religion to us, really? I mean It keeps me from falling apart. I went to the lowest of low not long ago, I even want to commit suicide. But I have faith, even though its just little, it saved me from myself. I guess religion has its point after all: You somehow live for what you believe in. If the atheist who don't have basis of belief at least believe in theirselves and it kept them going on, what more for people with a religion? Religion may change us in many ways that we may even fail to notice. All I can say is this, no religion is totally right or wrong: JUST CONTINUE BELIEVING.



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