This I Believe

Thomas - Burlington, Massachusetts
Entered on May 8, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe that organized religion is a crutch that we need to avoid. I have adopted this belief in my most recent years as I’ve lost faith in my Catholic upbringing.

Many moons ago you’d find me at every Sunday mass praying that God would grant me good fortunes in all my endeavors. I’d graze my eyes across the fine denizens of the Church. Restless people sat there with frowns on their faces waiting for the Eucharist (a flat piece of bread offered to represent the body of Christ) to call for an end to this Mass. My eyes would come back to my father, fast asleep in his kneeling position. It was in this moment that I thought “why am I here? Why are any of these people here?” Mass proceeded and relief rather than enlightenment would describe the mood outside the church.

The scene at the church made me wonder why religion, a person’s belief of what our purpose is in this world, is something that we are born into? How can I be told what to believe from the moment I’m born? But for a long time I believed everything the church told me, because it’s comforting to have something to believe in.

Faith gives hopes to the masses. It allows for people to give purpose to their lives, to their decisions; but in all honesty I believe religion was created more or less as a way to govern people. If most people did not believe that their life on this Earth had any repercussions after they passed away then there would be utter chaos. To them, nothing would matter, whatever they did would not affect the outcome of their afterlife if there was none.

So I’ve shied away from church. I’ve thought: how can this Catholic religion be any more right than Buddhism or even Scientology? but the point is I have come to the realization that all these religions are just as far-fetched as the next one when you really think about it, so why go to church to praise one God over another.

Instead I choose to believe in the greater good of humanity. I don’t need commandments to tell me how to live my life, instead I choose to respect people the way I myself would want to be respected and in that I create a conscious, blissful atmosphere to live in.

All this is not to say that a God or a greater life does not exist beyond the Earth we know. It’s just my belief that people should think for themselves. Don’t be one of those poor people fighting their way through church services just so the after-life is kind, because if there is a God I’m sure that isn’t what he or she would be wanting from you. Be kind to your neighbor because it makes for a better world not because it will get you your ticket to heaven.