This I Believe

Frank - St. Louis, Missouri
Entered on August 27, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

With so many struggles being fought all over the world, I believe that religion is more of a detriment than it is a method of salvation. It seems that religion, like social order in France pre-revolution, is an outdated practice in any of its forms. It spurs on wars, hypocrisy, and unnecessary sense of superiority among the religiously devout.

The Levant has been one of the most violent regions for the last half century. The region’s inhabitants bring about a vicious cycle of unrelenting hate which has been passed down through the generations to further polarize the views of those living there today, and at the base of this territorial argument is religion. Hitler commits the Holocaust, European powers agree that the Jewish people need a homeland, Palestinians are driven out of their native lands, and today it seems as if the terrorism and religious zealotry are driving this historical region further and further into chaos. If religion were not in the picture, would all of this have to happen?

Of course at the bottom of most religions is the practice of making the best of one’s self while on earth. The golden rule of Jesus, “do unto others as you would have them do to you,” now seems common sense. Therefore, religion has certainly done its job of setting down an acceptable moral code for different cultures, but for one belief to claim supremacy over another based on writings of ancients seems completely ridiculous. People are dying because their opinions on divinity conflict with others.

Religion also perpetuates a sense of subordination. No one would think about questioning the authority of their king or queen in the 15th century because they were given the power to lead by the grace of god. The enlightenment and Scientific Revolution ushered in new eras which saw that the power of the human can achieve what was once thought impossible. And to think now that still a portion of our country will deny evolution is possible because of the thought that humans are biologically connected to apes. How could God do that? We can’t be animals.

We are simply animals with the power to imagine abstract ideas, like a divine being. I believe that as long as religion plays a major role in the world, the violence, intolerance, and subordination that it generates will follow.