What is a belief? My definition of a belief is: an aspect of human invention for which was created to supply moral and emotional relief or satisfaction. This is a fancy way of saying people created beliefs in order to make them feel better about themselves and their actions. Why does one believe in God? People believe in God because it gives them the satisfaction of believing that when they die, they will live out their life in total paradise, if they behaved well enough during their time on earth. I have no problem with any religious belief or affiliation anyone wants to believe in, but I do believe that I will not follow the rules written by any man. What makes the pope so special? Does the pope not like sports? Does he not enjoy socializing with his friends every now and then? The way people give so much respect to certain “religious leaders” is mind boggling to me. What makes that man any different from me? I believe one should be open to all ideas of religion, and from those ideas one should derive his or her own beliefs. While reading this essay, one might think that I harvest some anger towards certain religions or religions beliefs. I do not have any anger for any religions, only for those who have tried to shove religion down my throat for my eighteen-years of life. I do not believe one must go to church every Sunday to be a good Christian. I believe, in order to fulfill your duties as a decent human, you must respect those who deserve respect, trust in God (or whatever name you want to call him or her), take care of your family, and think of others before yourself. I do not now and I never will bow to a “religious leader,” or follow any religious rule formed by man. I know in my heart what is holy, good, and true. Therefore I do not need religious direction from another man who was born just as I was, who can become ill like I can, and who makes the same mistakes I do. I have not been to church since October 9, 2003. That Thursday night I sat by my mother’s hospital bed for what seemed like hours after she died. I do not blame God for taking her so soon, but I have not forgiven him either. Every day, I go through my life with a chip on my shoulder. I don’t harvest resentment for God, but I’m just not comfortable talking to him right now. Maybe one day I will be able to speak to him again, but that day won’t be coming any time soon. This is what I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.