Lets talk religion

One of the things that I want to talk about is how people are often too busy being frustrated with religion, and denouncing its beliefs to really enjoy it. That’s right, as agnostics and atheists I think that we should enjoy religion. Part of being human is the religious experience, and to completely eliminate it from your life is a mistake all too often made.

I remember several years ago I was watching the movie Kundun. For anyone who may not know, it was a story about Buddhism, and the life and exile of the Dalai Lama. At one point in the movie Kundun (the Dalai Lama) met with the Chinese dictator. The line that I remember most from the movie was when the dictator told him, “Religion is poison.” At the time I was a devout christian, so I remember my jaw dropping open, and not being able to think anything else except, ‘What an evil man!’

But oh how he was right!

Religion is indeed poison, and this is something that I believe atheists and agnostics see. However, I don’t think of it as the crippling sort or defect in any way. Religion, to me, is at the very heart of what it means to be human. When I read about the different types of religious beliefs that are out there, I am always amazed at the richness and diversity.

One of the African religions that we briefly talked about in my religious studies class teaches that the unborn have a voice and spirit that enters the womb, and uses the voice to communicate with the mother. The way that children are named in that religion is when the mother undergoes a ritual during her pregnancy, and becomes possessed by the spirit of her baby, that begins talking to the shaman through her. The belief is that the unborn child announces its own name. Now I know that some are going to think that’s completely ridiculous, and I admit that I don’t believe it at all myself, but wow! This belief is very real to those who practice it, and even though I couldn’t rationally convince myself of its validity, I can’t help but appreciate and be fascinated by it.

Just as much as religion is poison, it is also an art form–like beautifully woven poetry. Take your scientific glasses off once in a while to appreciate what humanity has written.

2 thoughts on “Lets talk religion

  1. LaShawn – I enjoyed this short article. I also have an innate appreciation for most primitive religions and beliefs. It is ritual that gives many a meaning in life, or as you put it, poetry. I want to appreciate it for what it is, and learn from it what I can of my fellow humans. Even though I am rejecting my Christian beliefs after much struggle and self-doubt, I will never hate religion.
    Most well-adjusted people are not dogmatic about their beliefs anyway – they just inherit their religions from their parents as a form of culture and self-identification. It is on this level that it should be learned.

  2. Hey LaShawn,

    I think it’s so cool that you’re questioning and exploring religious beliefs. I seriously started questioning religion when I was around 12 years old. I was so put off my religion and church that I flirted with atheism. At one point in my 20s I thought of myself as an agnostic. I said, “I believe there’s a God, but I don’t believe in God.”

    Now I’m in my 30s and my understanding of what God is has expanded exponentially. The problem was never God. The problem is the way in which traditional religon presents God to the world. God didn’t created religion, man created religion. However, there is a presence of God in all religions. As far as I’m concerned there’s only one true religion, and that religion is called TRUTH!

    Alright sista girl. I wish you well on your spiritual journey.

    Roz

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