A Faithless Religion

Another article about religion? One must think, “Oh God! Not again.” I know I do, when I come across the incessant stories about the extreme ends of the spectrum. ‘Religion is Bad’ or ‘Religion is Life’ it is, seeing the world as black and white. Various personal encounters have led me to somewhat grasp why people believe in God. It’s what keeps them going, it’s what they turn to in times of crisis, after exhausting all options. It’s a reasonable constant to have in a world where all else is temporary, to rely on at least something that is ‘forever’.

What we see today is a world highly misguided in the name of religion. The blurred lines between faith and religion are misleading and the use of these words interchangeably, even more so. One who follows a religion is often shamed if they don’t know or practice certain rituals, or visit a place of worship, don’t remember religious texts, and the list goes on. Who decides this ‘threshold’ for one to be Christian enough, or Hindu enough, or Muslim enough? "You have no faith," they say. I’m sorry, I do. I do have faith, it’s you who seems to have lost their way.

While faith is important to be religious, being religious is never a must to have faith. The concept of the various ‘groups of different faiths’ that have come up with the spam of human existence has decided the course of history in many ways. While there may be hundreds of Gods, with thousands of ideologies - the common idea of faith prevails. 

Headlines describing painful incidents of polarisation, leading to all kinds of communal tensions are an everyday occurrence. So much so, that they’ve been trivialized in the scheme of ‘larger problems’. The need to compete against people with a different or no belief system is highly fatal. But with its subtle nature, and ‘blind faith’ in their religion, people hardly think twice before attacking another person, their community, or even their opinions. 

This is why there’s an urgent need to re-examine these issues. Faith cannot be used as an excuse to do anything they want. The man-made concept of religion giving flight to these ironically unholy ideas and causing humanity to suffer in the name of what’s supposed to save us needs to end. Demolition of a place of worship to build another, or beheading someone because they said something offensive to your God is not how one expresses how devout they are. Losing sight in the "My God vs Your God" debate sows seeds for unnecessary tensions. While it is understandable that each human has something that inspires them, and being religious has given many people the direction they need. But it has also been the source of rivalries, riots, and even wars in history. 

The human race is a diverse species. There is a reason that secularism is crucial in most democratic nations now. It is imperative for the coexistence of people belonging to a myriad of religious backgrounds. However, this coexistence has always been a source of tenuous relations between the state and its people. An unfortunate shift back from democracies is looming over the world.  Separation of Church and State is essential for effective governance in all countries fortunate enough to be democratic. 

People may believe that being ardent followers of a religion or sects needs them to prove it time and again that theirs is superior. But these very people must realize that they’re fooling no one but themselves. They’re not the righteous spokesperson for their entire religion, neither are they devout adherents of the said religion. All they follow is nothing but a faithless religion.