A lot of people are weary of religion these days. I guess it’s not serving its intended purpose. More often than not, we see people discriminating and engaging in wars on the basis of religion. Does this mean we should give up on religion altogether?
We give ourselves so many labels – we label our ethnicity, our skin color, our nationality, our region, our gender, our education level, etc. Adding a religious label just further segregates mankind. We invent all these rituals and new ways to exclude groups of people.
I would like to propose this: if you have to pick one label today to describe your religion, how about choosing the label of humanity? This is one label that unites everyone and leaves nobody out. It encompasses what most, if not all religions, preach. After all, we all have the same color blood in our system, we are all human beings. If we adhere to this label, it will remind us all that our duty on earth is to embrace humanity. In essence, that means loving and respecting everyone. It means helping each other and living selflessly.
You don’t always have to choose between being a religious person or an atheist. More important than committing yourself to a religious label is the practice of pledging yourself to basic human values. I believe this commitment to love, peace, harmony, tolerance, acceptance and patience is the main purpose of human life. Rather than getting caught up in labels, we can ask ourselves if we have forgotten what the purpose behind religion is. True religion, after all, unites; it never divides.
I also believe you can still believe in God and engage in prayers without committing yourself to a particular religion or religious activity. Parents are usually more concerned with their children’s growth and character than they are with their children’s names; I’m sure God is also more concerned with our character and our actions than He is with which religious symbols we’re carrying around.