Even atheists have religion; they just don’t call it that.
If you have a belief system about something, and you do, you have a religion.
You may not go to a church, temple or mosque but you are a firm believer.
Here’s the difficulty I have with “Capital R” Religion: It’s exclusionary.
Just as an example, I passed a Christian Church the other day and the words they had on the billboard viewable from the highway read: “The only Messiah with an empty grave.”
I have no quibble with someone believing what they can’t prove because everyone does it. My sense is that this sign could have easily read: “My God’s better than your God.”
The implication is that their version of God is superior. It’s exclusionary. It’s not the least bit ecumenical. It sets up an argument, not a “let’s sit down and pray” together invitation.
All brands of organized religion exclude. My sense is they would be much more inclusive if there was no competition when it came to God.
I would never attempt to talk anyone out of a strongly held belief; I would merely point out that we weren’t born with any of them. They were all acquired.
We acquired most of our beliefs, religious and otherwise, through conditioning. We didn’t have any say in many of the beliefs we acquired.
Look at racial prejudice as an example. You weren’t born with it, you acquired it and, sadly, for some people it’s a religion.
The point isn’t to pick on any one specific belief or religion, but an attempt to take a closer look at the exclusionary nature of our beliefs.
If we believe something and someone else doesn’t, they can’t be in our club, or if they are a member, they aren’t a member in good standing. Political parties (religions) are also a hotbed of exclusion. Listen to politicians religiously argue for everyone to adopt their point of view, and if they don’t, castigate them and call them a name.
All religions talk about love; they just don’t practice it when they exclude.
There are a lot of ways to get to heaven but the trip will be much smoother if we remove the roadblock known as exclusion.
All the best,
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