This I Believe

Matt - Hickory, North Carolina
Entered on January 11, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that religion should not be the basis for where you go in the afterlife, but by the caliber of your character during life on earth. I believe that through major religious beliefs, history and personal experiences that organized religion may not be necessary.

The major ideals of the Muslim faith include Allah and Muhammad. Those who believe in Allah and Muhammad will go to heaven, also called Paradise. If you do not, you go to hell. Christian ideals believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. If you follow the teachings of the Bible, you will go to heaven. Judaism believes that the Messiah has not come yet, and believes that everyone goes to heaven, and that people make their own hell on earth. All of these religions revolve around one central being; God. They all have a Bible as well, whether it is the Jewish Torah, Muslim Koran, or Christian Bible.

All major religions revolve around the idea that faith and religion gets you to heaven, not the merit of your character. Of course, the religions encourage you to act with sound morals and decency but it places more importance on the faith. For example, in Christianity, you can confess and be forgiven for your sins no matter what the sin is. I believe that according to this belief of forgiveness, a mass murderer can be forgiven for his sins. However, a good citizen who always obeys the law, treats every human being with honesty and respect, donates money and time, has a good moral heart, but does not completely embrace a religion will go to hell. I believe that God accepts everyone because living perfectly without sin is impossible.

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to a girl whose parents both teach Sunday school and she is extremely Christian. She was fussing at me because I don’t attend church on a regular basis. I believe in god and pray and seek comfort from Him but I believe that church is not what matters in religion but its your own connection to God and your morals are what is important. She believes that if you don’t believe in God you will go to hell. I asked her if she really thinks this is true since it is doubtful that everyone in the whole world has heard of God and Jesus. She said yes, they would go to hell also even though they have never heard of God or Jesus, but they are decent, moral people. I was outraged by this because I believe that God accepts everyone and that if he would not give an unfair handicap to just one group of people. I believe all people make it to heaven if they are good people.

I believe that religion does not determine whether a person goes to heaven or hell. Almost all of the major world conflicts in the world have to do with arguments over organized religion. Without the weights of organized religion, I believe that the world would b a more accepting, better place.