This I Believe

Justin - Flower Mound, Texas
Entered on May 2, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe religion is not necessary to live a good, responsible life. I believe people are born with an innate sense of what is right and wrong, and don’t need religion to show them the way. I live by a set of beliefs that have nothing to do with religion. I am respectful to my elders. I also try to be courteous and kind to everyone I meet. I stand up for what I believe is right, no matter the opposition. These beliefs are what my parents taught me. I’ve been told I am going to go to Hell, and I say, “For what? For being a good person?” They usually say something like, “No, for not believing in Jesus.” This makes me think of Jesus as a scapegoat, used to get out of anything bad somebody does. The way I see it, this means I could be a mass murderer and a rapist, and right before I die I will believe in Jesus. That way I will still go to Heaven, right?

I like to learn about religion so I am not ignorant of other people’s beliefs. I find in interesting to learn about other peoples beliefs, and I can understand how so many people are drawn into some kind of religious faith. I grew up never going to church, or really even knowing about religion. Church was just something dull and boring my friends had to do on Sundays before they could come out and play with me. My first interaction with religion was when my sister asked me to go to church with her. I had never been and I could tell she really wanted me to go so I tagged along. During that trip I was hit with massive amounts of information that were extremely confusing. I started really thinking about religion. I try to understand this character whose name everyone takes in vain. Who is this God person? I could see that religion puts a purpose in many peoples lives. It enables them to get through hard times. It helps many people become “better” people. It is not necessary for me to live a good life. I don’t need the false sense of security that religion brings to many people.

I started asking questions, and got as many different answers as I had questions. I decided to think for myself. I went about it in a logical way. Through that thinking, I did not see how it was possible for a creator to be there watching over every person in the world. Also through that thinking, I decided religion would be a great pathway to control and power. What better way to control the population than with the threat of eternal damnation? All I’m really trying to say is that religion isn’t necessary to live a good life, and people are not going to spend eternity in some fiery pit for not believing in a two-thousand year old dead guy.