Is Your Religion Working For You? Really?

When you say to someone, not of your religion, that “because your good book says it is true, therefore it must be true,” don’t you ever notice that the person, instead of falling down in worship, rolls their eyes?Do you smugly continue to be a “work in progress,” and proud of it, justifying your careless actions by pointing out that sinners have no chance to improve themselves?… Convenient.Are you peaceful, calm and loving, or are you ever trying to make something happen in your faith. Can you quietly practice your faith by yourself, or is your practice merely entertaining yourself by proselytizing and pushing your beliefs? Can you silently meditate, or can’t you sit still? Or maybe sitting still with an open mind is against your religion? Can you see yourself, and how you fail consistently in your religious aspirations, or are you too busy criticizing and trying to convert others?Just believe, just believe! Never question. Give generously to the church and when you die, you will be rewarded in heaven (you can take your microwave and everything else along just like here on earth, but somehow better). And don’t worry! (Insert your particular savior or god) will take care of you!Do you not investigate spiritual things for yourself, perhaps because your religion discourages those kinds of things, saying that man is not capable of understanding for him/herself and can only believe what the good book tells him/her? What’s up with that? Do you agree with that?Maybe you’re just not attracted to spiritual things, only religious mechanizations, believing that this life will last forever and in case it doesn’t, you have a little “God” insurance policy called belief that will bail you out at the last minute. Does that work for you?If your mind is that impressionable that you drift along with life accepting everything your religion says unquestionably, which means that if you were born in Mexico you would now be a staunch Catholic defending the Pope, and if born in Iraq, perhaps a radical Muslim strapping a bomb to her chest. In other words, you would go along, like a sheep, with whatever you were told. Do you do that with other things in life? Or are you super cautious and want to investigate for yourself about everything and anything you are involved with? Why the difference? Do you turn a blind eye to anomalies of your religion? Why?Do you worry incessantly about money, even though most religions and the saviors of most religions emphatically warn about wealth, saying things like, Give all away to the poor and follow me?” How do you justify that. Were they lying or not telling the whole story? How do you rationalize that?When you know that your occupation stinks to high heaven regarding the unfair treatment of people you theoretically “serve,”, do you rationalize and continue doing it just for the money, looking out for yourself and damning your principles because you are more afraid of poverty than you are of redemption? If you do, then your religion means absolutely nothing to you. And when you die, your religion will treat you likewise.Are you putting up with life, making money regardless of who it hurts or what the consequences are for others, thinking that it is justified in some way by twisting the words of your holy book which may have multiple meanings of which only the most elementary are understood by you? Do you understand at a deep level, or just think that you do?Do you feel that life is just putting up with things and coping until you can die and get to the REAL thing, which is nothing more than a picture painted in your mind by other minds in the form of books and sermons, not something that you have discovered for yourself?Does blind belief really work for you? Many will say that this imagery and psychological dependency does work, and frees them to get on with their lives in other areas. But does it really? Does it help you get on with real life at this very moment; how to cope with all the complications, stress and uncertainties in a proactive way instead of laying back and waiting for (Insert your particular savior or god) to bail you out, kind of like welfare. Are your virtues really improving, or just your opinion of them?Does your religion help you face the day to day stress, uncertainty, anger, frustration, wishing it was other than it is, putting up with those you dislike, being separated from those you love, money problems, family problems, illness, discontent, worry, angst, physical pain, psychological pain, and loneliness?Sure, there is a relief in applying a psychological wall (Insert your favorite savior) between you and your problems, but does that last? Or does other problems almost immediately arise – Oops, my son lost his job, please save him. Oops, I gained ten pounds, please help me not eat! Does nothing seem to change for you regarding these negative emotions? As a matter of fact, haven’t they even gotten worse lately? Is it really working for you? Do you covertly, or maybe even openly, dislike, perhaps hate, anyone who refuses to believe the way you believe?Do you find yourself ignoring the person’s feelings that you disagree with by hiding behind your holy book? How polarized can one get regarding abortion and homosexuality without going off the deep end? Remember, not everyone feels as you do, and regardless of how you justify it, holy books and beliefs are just that – beliefs. So believe as you will, but wouldn’t it be kinder to leave others alone so that they could express their beliefs too? Holding fast to some words in a book that can never be proven to be the word of your god, is a fallacious argument to begin with, which neutralizes everything said after.Do you find yourself only associating with like believers and shunning others, seeing them as only an marks to be converted, and not seeing them as people? Seeing them perhaps less than yourself? Do you sometimes feel paranoid that you are misunderstood, or that the world is unfair to you and your beliefs? These are deep-seated serious psychological problems that drive people into geographical and psychological clans.Do you have a “conversion fixation” where it is your responsibility to convert all the non believers?… Good luck. Quiet reflection on yourself and becoming a good person might sway some, but pushy proselytizing does nothing but turn people off. They know a snake oil salesman when they see one, and that’s all you are when behaving like this because you have given up your aspirations for love and understanding, and replaced those with control.Has your religion degraded into social parties and rock festivals, just to entertain people and keep them coming back? Will blackjack be next. I think so. What happened to the real meanings? Too boring? If you can’t see the decline in religion, then there is absolutely no hope.The above is not to be taken as criticism but an honest opinion of how aggressive religions are many times viewed. You may disagree with all or part of them, however, it is something to be read and considered. If it only brings up resentment, then there is no hope of improving yourself to the point where your character and behavior will be a shining beacon for those who may wish to follow you. Instead, your words will only continue to be hollow rhetoric bouncing off people who look at you, not what you say.This is especially poignant regarding teenagers who are drilled about religion at home but observe their parents screaming at each other in WalMart. They are not stupid. Words don’t mean anything compared to reality. Even words in holy books.These adult fairy tales which many regard religion to be, may have worked with past generations, but signs are that the younger generation which is intelligent and accustomed to spin from all angles, doesn’t quite understand how religion simply ignores what’s happening right now and pretends that none of this counts! That Church is separate from the cruel lives we lead. If you get all dressed up for church and put on the good face for a few hours, just to return to your ambitious, selfish world, who is kidding whom?As a result, the younger generation is quick to point out that religion is boring and disingenuous because it gives them no workable guidelines to live happy, contented lives – right now, right here on earth. Guidelines that are intelligent and logical and explain life at its basic level of experience. “Just believe and (Insert your particular savior or god) will take care of you,” seems a bit too simplistic for intelligent youngsters who have been raised on the internet, and in many ways are world travelers exposed to all kinds of cultures and ideas.As a result of the failure of religions to relate to young people, they are opting for the world instead with its promises of instant gratification; pop culture, food, sex, drugs, clothes, cars, all with their false promises of happiness which when falls flat leaves the youngster with no choice many times but depression or suicide.They are leaving the churches in droves, because churches are failing them. Churches are for old people who are closer to death (and the REAL thing). To confirm this, just look in on any church gathering. Take away the elderly and the young dependent children, and see what’s left. The old dogmas and credos have failed our young adults.In other words, churches can’t come up with a good enough argument on how to live happily, inwardly, right now, without relying on the outside world and all its enticements for happiness, which is a false refuge. Even the sermons have denigrated to political hacking. The services into rock parties. The “religious” are falling prey to the enticements of the world, as politics and business infiltrate the halls of Godliness. Along with this, religious arguments and the holy books have become too complicated, boring, and too couched in mystery for young people to make any sense of without an in depth study, if then. And who has time, or the inclination?Look. Everyone wants to be happy. Whether that involves psychologically placing ones head in the sand where it is seems secure and safe and repeating, “I believe, I believe.” Or whether it involves experiencing every known pleasure to mankind and indulging in them ad nauseam. The problem is; heads in the sand are blind, and pleasure seeking is counter productive resulting in nothing but stress. Both are dreams.It’s time we woke up. Actually it’s past time. Just look at the world. Something is not working. Nuclear war could be just around the corner because of religious stupidity.Maybe only a few years off.

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