This post was originally published on my Facebook profile yesterday. Reproducing it here today because of the Allah appeal that is currently happening.
So today it finally struck me. I mean, I know this intellectually, but this is the first time I’ve felt the truth of it hit hard in the gut.
Why in the world are we so preoccupied with someone else’s religion?
Religion isn’t a numbers game. It’s not a competition where the religion with the most followers automatically win the world, or God’s favour and blessings on them forever. If you have your beliefs, then so be it. You have your faith in your God, and I have my faith in my Goddess. Pure and simple. When you die, if there is an afterlife, then you’ll be answerable to your God. That is all. God’s going to ask you what you did. He’s not going to reward the entire religious organisation without evaluating the sum of its parts.
And so if you have faith in your God and religion, then nothing can turn you away from it. Having someone curse you, drinking holy water, air zam zam or wailing at the Wall isn’t going to turn you away from the religion of your CHOICE.
Yes, that is the keyword.
No one can force you to believe in a faith you do not have. You may have doubts about your faith, you may have doubts about God’s existence, you may even doubt that your deity is the person you thought they were.
But here’s the thing: It’s YOU.
You make the choice to believe in them. YOU make the choice to hold on to your faith. YOU make the choice to believe in the tenets of your faith, to keep to it, and to hold it sacred and practice for as long as you shall live or so choose.
No one, but YOU yourself.
Belief is, as you grow older, a personal choice. There is no one who holds a gun to your head and say “BELIEVE IN MY WORD THAT PIGS WILL FLY” and you will believe in your heart, unless you choose to. Someone may take your hand, put a pen in it, and then write “I AM A BELIEVER” with your hand, but if you do not believe it in your head, then it is meaningless.
So stop pushing the responsibility for your faith onto others. I cannot slap you and make you believe that my Goddess is greater than yours, unless you choose to believe my words. By that token, you cannot force belief in me that your God and religion is really greater than mine.
Stop thinking that drinking holy water, walking by a church or into a mosque, listening to Buddhist chants and/or smelling temple incense is going to turn you away from your religion. HAVE FAITH IN YOUR RELIGION LA!
**Note: I have deliberately left out times when you doubt the existence of God in this essay, aka nights of the soul.
Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.