Religion: A Choice, Not a Compulsion

“Reality is what it is, not what you want it to be.” -Frank Zappa

 

Religion is one of the most controversial topics of all time. Have you ever wondered why it’s so debatable? We, human beings, have been fighting in its name for centuries, and we still have no answers. Doesn’t it make you wonder why that is the case? What is it about religion that makes people turn against each other? Why is it viewed differently by everyone? Why does it make you do things that no one could have convinced you to do otherwise? What makes it so powerful and convincing? It’s one of the most disputable topics because it’s based solely on ideas and beliefs. There’s no universal definition for religion. Some believe having faith is religious. Some believe humanity is religion. Some believe “following the rules'' is religion. Some believe talking to God is religion. Some believe atheism is the only religion there is. Who can decide what’s right and wrong?! Scientists and atheists tend to deny the existence of god or any powerful energy. Whereas theists firmly hold their beliefs on the existence of “the creator”. Doesn’t it seem so irrational to debate over the existence of something that resides only in people’s beliefs? 

 

Religion is a simple thing which has turned into something very non-understandable. It seems un-resolvable because we’ve put in so many complications into it. People think that forcing others to believe what they believe in is the only way to spread their religions. But religion is not about reaching the majority, it’s about having faith in something that you believe in. It shouldn’t matter what or who other people put their faith in, they should be treated with dignity and be given the freedom of choice to worship anyone or anything they desire. There are so many religions in the world, and people are so obsessed with converting people and manipulating them into choosing religions. Parents enforce religion on their kids from the moment they’re born. Schools teach religious practices to children. Parents marry their daughters into same-religion families, especially in India. Religion is about putting faith into something that we believe to be true, and if that’s the case, why aren’t we given any choice? Religion is about having choices too. Then why are we forced to believe in something when we don’t even know what that is?!

 

There have been so many cases reported in the past where men were killed, women were raped, and kids were abducted in the name of religion. Incidents like these aren’t seen in the western countries. They’re mostly witnessed in countries like India where religion is very diverse. There are over a billion religious practitioners reported in present day India. The most popular religions in India are Hinduism and Islam. Hindus have a ritual where wives are supposed to fast for their husbands’ long lives. During the fast, they are not allowed to eat or even drink water. What’s surprising is that this fast is a compulsion for every married Hindu woman. This is just one example. There are millions of superstitious and unjust things happening due to this religious society. Muslims forcefully marry off their young daughters in the name of religion. People are denied fundamental rights in India and it is justified by religion. And atheists are literally killed for not believing in God. Atheism is a personal choice, and practicing it is a human right. And still killing them is somehow justified in India. Why? Religion has the power to manipulate people. There are thousands of imposters - saints, who call themselves Gods. They rape women and collect money as a donation. In the past year, countless imposters were caught from different parts of India. This is unacceptable! There’s also a century old war going on between the Hindus and Muslims. They’re divided by their religion. And nothing has been able to resolve this! 

 

Why are people having such a hard time realizing that being religious is a choice and not a compulsion? And why can’t they see the problems religion has created? Religion is not about dividing people, it’s about uniting them. Every religion has a right to be respected, even atheism. People should learn to be agreeable about things and understand that everyone has a right to believe in anything they desire. Religion cannot be forced, because it is not a compulsion. It’s a personal choice, it always has been!