December 11, 2018

BY JAMES WELLS

jamesA recent study done by National Geographic reveals religion is quickly becoming an impractical part of people’s lives. Frankly, this doesn’t surprise me. I grew up with religion. I did the whole going to church on Sunday, saying grace before dinner and praying every night before bed. When I was a baby my parents had me baptized. I went to a Presbyterian church until I was around 10 or 11 years old, I learned about God, Jesus and all the grand tales from the Bible. I grew up watching Veggie Tales which included both moral and religious principles in their movies.

All of this being said, people change. I really believed in God, a devil, a Heaven and a hell. However, as I got older, the notion of religion never stuck with me.

Now when I say I am not religious that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in anything. In fact, I actually identify as being more spiritual, putting my faith in humanity and nature rather than believing in a religion.

Religion is so old and rooted in the history of humanity that I’ve questioned if it belongs in our modern day
society. Religion was there to teach us love, compassion, trust, respect and unity, but through history, religion has been twisted and corrupted by those who seek to use its followers for their own malicious desires.

War, politics, racism, gender and even love have all been subject to the use of religion in a hateful manner. Christianity and Islam, the two biggest religions in the world, are perfect examples of how a faith can be corrupted.

Both religions have had their issues with racism, war and politics in the most controversial ways possible. Some say these people are not following religious teachings. I say it is just human nature.

Should we believe in blind faith? Shouldn’t we be embracing and believing in our own humanity and living to our fullest potential.

We have evolved, revolutionized and engineered our way through history, constantly upgrading our technology from sticks and stones to wireless devices, electric cars and rovers on other planets. When it’s time to upgrade something, we upgrade it, whether it’s housing, health care or cellphones.

The one thing that has never been upgraded is religion. However, we have conjured up new ones that we claim are “better” or “more practical.”

Religion has had its hold on a growing world for too long. We are even looking to leave the “one world” that “God created.” Elon Musk, the founder of Space X, wants to make our mark as a species on other planets starting with Mars. If this was meant to be our one true home created by God, then why are we so close to leaving it?

I am thankful for religion; it gave us hope when we needed it the most – in the darkest of times in human history. But, we’ve evolved as a species, and we’ve taken all we need or could have learned from religion.

Instead of focusing on an afterlife we should worry about our lives, our world, our hope and our future.

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