This I Believe

Jaqqi - Reno, Nevada
Entered on November 26, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

As a child I was not brought up religiously because religion was hardly brought up. I knew my mother believed in God and we would occasionally attend church with a family friend, trips which I despised wholeheartedly, but it was not forced upon me to believe any certain way. I went along with it until I learned enough to question the entire system.

I believe that an atheist approach is the safest one regarding religion. Christians ranting about this, Catholics raving about that, and Buddhists sitting quietly in the corner. Who is right? Who is wrong? Who knows? No one. All anyone can do is believe. Shouldn’t believing be personal and of one’s own peace of mind?

It all started with a friend of mine. She was a devout Christian and it was well-known. A nice girl and a good student, but she drove me crazy. For whatever reason it seemed like she was hell bent (no pun intended) on getting me to convert to Christianity, or at least accept it in my mind as the truth. She resorted to everything from praying about me to arguing with me until her face turned blue. I was never fazed by her words and simply shrugged them off, but she was passionately set in her ways.

Every day it was the same thing, she’d casually mention something about creationism to which I would argue in an evolutionist stance, like clockwork. She’d quote the bible, explain why or how, and wait for my reaction, which was often as careless as hers was mindless. I was always half listening and half doing something else, but she was always at full attention.

She quoted and fought me religiously (again, no pun). She began sounding like a broken record to which I realized that she sounded so mechanical. She was taught what is right and it seemed like she had no mind or opinions of her own.

One day, in my half-assed arguments against her, I casually mentioned Catholicism. She quickly, and surprisingly, piped up with a coy “Catholics are idiots, they’re completely wrong” which made my mouth drop.

All of a sudden I was more into what she was saying than whatever else I was doing. “How could you possibly think that Catholicism is wrong and you’re right?”

“They’re just wrong. They misinterpret the bible and God’s words.”

“Who says you’re interpreting them correctly?”

“We just are. They’re stupid.”

Religion has the entire world hung up in one huge argument, relating in crime, war, and hatred of one another. In most, if not all, religions, love and humanity play key roles. Religious folk are often some of the most close-minded and ignorant people, believing that their religion dominates all, without considering any of the others. They’re easily taught that their religion is the “right” one.

I believe that there are just too many religions for a wrong and right. Religion should be a personal matter and not so easily labeled and so easily preached.