Religion, Beliefs, and Morality.

Upon my decision to write this, I’ve come to understand certain inevitable facts. The facts that my family may read this and may be horrible and leave them upset and heart broken, that I could receive hate mail and death threats, or I could be ridiculed beyond belief (pun intended). Even simply being looked down upon among peers is rather heavy on the heart. It is not my intention to offend anyone, but I’m well aware I may.

In today’s society it seems as if we are constantly at war with being our self, the world just doesn’t want us to be who we are. Just shut up and do as you are told, with out question. We still battle racism daily, and people seem to think that since we elected Obama into office we are fine and past racism. But anyone who’s ever worked in law enforcement, at a jail, or simply has common sense knows that racism is still a very very real thing. In prisons and jails it’s easy to see how people react with each other based on their race. White people stick with white people, Hispanics with Hispanics, Blacks with Blacks, etc etc.. They will band together, largely for the instinctual aspect of survivalism. Basic common sense would state that if a person of color end up in jail, he probably shouldn’t walk into the cell of the Arian Brotherhood Gang. For some reason there is this unknown hate of a person simply because of who they are. At times Media may mistake many civilized peoples words as a racist statement when in reality, it was never intended to be. But the simple fact that we always here so much about racism shows just how much it’s in our daily lives, and for many people, they may never see the horrible atrocities that happen because of a persons race.

People of the LGBT community can feel the same hate and disrespect from society, with Gay Marriages and Rights being thrown out of the window. For means of a “greater good” or to “protect the sanctity of marriage” society of casting homosexuality aside with disgust and extreme prejudice. Citing it’s “Against God’s Will”, or it’s an “Abomination”, or it’s “Gross” and “Not Natural”.
Gay bashing may of dropped in recent years (to my knowledge at least) but it does not excuse the fact that gay bashing has existed and still continues to exist. People beaten to the point of being unrecognizable or beaten close to death, and in worst cases, being beaten to death. All because that individual chooses to love and individual of the same sex. It what way has loving a person ever been wrong? To many apparently love within the same sex is wrong.

Even cases citing abortion is such a hot topic for morality. Do you let the life of a possible human continue or do you stop life before it experiences the hardships of a family, or a single parent, and raise the child in horrible conditions? Do you allow a child to be born into poverty where the family cannot offer the basic essentials needed to live a healthy and happy life? Do you allow a child to be born into the world knowing it will have a horrible deformity or know that the child will need constant life support? Bringing a child in this world is, and has always been one of the most difficult decisions people can ever make. I know a couple of women who have had an abortion, rest assure that they have never bragged about it. They don’t even want to bring the conversation up, and when they finally admit the abortion, even years later, they are almost in tears. It is not an easy decision to make but they came to a decision after plenty of deep thought and restless nights. They thought about the child more than the people protesting outside with hateful signs.

People of different faiths are constantly attacked as well. Muslims for example are probably one of the more feared and hated religious groups today. Constant fear of another 9/11 is shoved down our throats every time Muslim beliefs or backgrounds is brought up. The Koran does state a lot of rather horrific things, but in fairness, so does The Holy Bible. People of Muslim faith and background here in the United States are constantly being looked down upon, and in general, I think a lot Americans would just want to approach them and say “Quit believing in that silly Koran Allah stuff and worship the right God!” These Muslims are stereotyped in a group of American Hating Individuals. And we surely never gave them any good reason to NOT hate us with the way we continually treat them. It’s hard to leave your faith and the beliefs you have been told since you were a child. That if you do not belief in this, you will surely die and live in a area of endless suffering. That you will disgrace your family completely, from being disowned from your parents to worst cases in other countries and beliefs, being killed or causing your family to be killed. With threats of such horrendous hate.. Who would want to leave their religion? Who is to say that the Muslim down the street wants to blow us all up? Maybe that Muslim down the street just wants to be treated as a person.

Religion is a very hard thing to break away from, yet the push to escape it is ever growing. Many people today cite they are Spiritual but not Religious, that they believe in God, or the Teachings of Jesus Christ but they do NOT consider themself a member of any certain organized religion. More and more people are finding that Churches are not what they expect, and that it is filling up with the wealth of money and not the wealth of love. That it’s shaping to be more about politics than teachings of morality. Whatever the belief people are desperately trying to find a sense in life, while at the same time looking to; and away from religion for that sense. And many “Christians” will cite morality based off a book that they have never read outside of a couple of verses read to them during Sunday Morning Church. Any Atheist will tell you there is plenty of unmoral and hateful rhetoric inside The Bible and any Christian will tell you there is plenty of love and morality inside the same book. The great thing here that many people will never see is that they are both right.

That simple truth.. That two completely diverse groups can come to a mutual understanding is what makes us shine. The fact that we can live next to each other, happily in many cases.. should be a testament to life. But it’s when we find out about that persons belief or lifestyle that we judge them with so much hate. I knew a person who’s neighbor was a great guy. Always helpful, nice, looked out for the neighborhood, and kept his yard and home looking great. He was an ideal neighbor. Well then this person found out his neighbor was gay, and immediately the hate poured out. Hearing “faggot” and “queer” became all too often, what made matters worse, was that neighbor was Black. So racist remarks came out of this persons mouth as well.. Needless to say I stopped associating myself with this person.. Never before have I seen hate for another person come out as I did in that situation. For no reason a man was hated because of his lifestyle.

Now you may say that we are inherently like this. That the reason we are prejudice or judgmental towards other people is not because we hate them, but because it’s in our nature to be protective of our family and our own well-being. After all joining together in pacts or tribes was not uncommon. But for centuries, notably white men, have degraded women, homosexuals, people of different race, and many others for one reason: The Bible tells them so. It’s no wonder there is a want to escape religion in this day and age. But we all want to keep a sense of a all knowing and loving God. People seem to be making up their own beliefs and saying it’s God’s way. People are simply making up things and claiming it’s God’s Belief when in reality, it’s their own belief.

So now we are at this point where I have been argued that you cannot be a moral person with God and without God’s word. I’ve been asked many times: “Where do you get your Morality from if not from religion?”
Generally, the first thing I like to say is that it did not take me knowing God to know that killing a human is morally wrong. That came instinctively once I reached a point and age of reason. At yes, Religion helped shape the world, and shape society. But to say that religion is the reasoning why we have such a high set of morality is preposterous. We need not look any farther in this question that nature. In the Christian biblical world, God created animals for mankind to rule over them. Animals have no religious beliefs therefore by many people definitions, are Atheist. That Lion, is an Atheist. Your dog is an Atheist, but we created a Doggy Heaven just for Fido, and we believe that when we pass, Fido will be sitting right there next to your deceased loved ones. In this light, so should that gold fish you flushed down the toilet. But lets keep the idea of the animal kingdom in perspective when it comes to morality.

We now know that most animals travel in pairings, herds, or together. We know that a zebra can share a spot to drink on the side of a river together with a giraffe and elephants in the distance. But within this peaceful looking world.. is chaos. That zebra shall soon be eaten by a alligator waiting to attack and that giraffe will run off and soon be eaten by a pack of lions. Just nature, why should we care? Right? Today we know that animals do care, and display emotions. If you don’t believe me, Get a Dog or a Cat.. Raise a dog from being a puppy to a good age. Disappear for just 8 hours, and when you come home.. Look at the expression that dog has on it’s face. That dog loves you, unconditionally. Yet at the same time, that dog can probably bite your damn head off and eat you. But day after day, you come home and it doesn’t eat you. So who’s to say that that zebra isn’t being missed by it’s family or members of the herd? Who’s to say they do not experience emotion and feelings and have a sense of morality. Maybe it’s because I picked docile creatures to be a prime example of love. So lets try the good old “Lions and Tigers and Bears!”
Surely, these 3 can not co-exist together without wanting to shred each other apart to eat their deliciousness!

Well shit.. Bad example. Look at this site for a better example of animals intensely hating each other and not defying standard assumptions of nature:
25 Excellent Moments In Strange Animal Friends

With this alone, any basis we have as humans stating reason of morality are thrown out the window with all logic shortly following. These animals, set alone in the wild, would probably be enemies. They may not kill each unless invoked and inherit survival is kicked in, but rest assure that a wild bear would throw his massive around around a tiger giving the tiger a side hug while a human puts a scarf around the bear. In all rights.. that guy should be dead. I don’t even need to make a case of morality in animals in this situation. It’s all about how they were brought up and raised. Three unlikely animals became friends simply because no one was around saying they couldn’t be friends. No one stated that it was impossible and that they were too different.

If anything, I believe religion has hindered our morality. And now with Religion being questioned by many, maybe we can develop a way to better understand our own morals and come to the understanding no matter who you are, love can prevail. Now more than ever morality is constantly under question, yet with so many different religious and spiritual beliefs and upbringings everyone will have a different belief about everything. Trying to find the truth in Good vs. Evil is a very thin line. But it is my hopes that people can look past religion and come up with their own conclusions about life, maybe one day, we can put past us indifference’s and just love people for who they are.

May 2012
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