Relflection Paper Religion

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Throughout history religion has played a monumental role in shaping human civilization. They come in all different kinds of beliefs systems, and are celebrated yearly. While there may be no universal religion, the stories and traditions that are associated with religion are unique and should be appreciated. It is through taking an Art and Religion course that I have questioned my own beliefs. Although I am Agnostic and may never believe in a single religion again, learning about other religions through my life has brought me more understanding. Growing up as a kid, I was brought up as a “Christian.” I use Christian lightly because my parents only taught me the basic story of Jesus Christ. My main religion was being good at Christmas and Easter. That way Santa would bring me presents, and I would get eggs from the Easter bunny. In a way both these imaginary figures work as a religion themselves. Like a religion, they provide kids with learning early on how to believe in something that they cannot see. Finding out that Santa was not real, however, transformed my holidays forever. Just like parents have to deceive their own kids, I believe that deception is used within all religious communities to accumulate followers. While this may poorly reflect a religion, it also proves a point: every person who believes in religion on some level acknowledges that they could be believing in a fairy tale story like Santa Claus. When I was in 5th grade I made an important discovery that changed the way I looked at religion. My personal experience was witnessing 9/11 from my grandparent’s house. On that day, like many Americans, I was filled with anger and my thoughts flooded with ideas of revenge. However, through all that pain and suffering I came to terms with what should matter the most. The most important treasure that anyone has to offer is life. When extreme Muslims took control of the planes and crashed them, they didn’t just kill thousands of men and women, they killed entire families. They ultimately left a wound so gigantic that every American experienced it. Now while I am not mad at anyone who comes from the Middle East, I am angry for the religion that caused so much death. Witnessing the events that played out on that tragic day taught me that religion could help people, but cause an equal amount of harm. It was through that moment in time that I changed my beliefs and left Christianity behind forever. Although Christianity did not cause the mass devastation, I came to realize that religion could take control, and make people do stupid, crazy and illogical things. From that point on, up until today, I have been Agnostic. With being Agnostic I have become more peaceful then I have ever felt then ever being a Christian.  While I may celebrate corporate holidays now, my family has become somewhat divided in beliefs. The nice aspect of having a family that is divided in how they practice religion is that they are tolerant of other religions. For the most part my sister and mother are very loose Christian’s and only attend church service on major holidays. My father is the most rigorous Christian in my family and goes to church every Sunday. When I was very young, it was my father who first introduced me to going to church. During that time, he would reward me by getting me a donut for after the service. While 9/11 was an eye opener for me, going to church with my Dad provided me with the insight into how a church worked, while also showing me how corrupt it can be. An example would be, how the church would collect money to fund very expensive programs, and buy expensive items. While I believe a church can be a wonderful tool to help homeless people survive in tough times, I also believe that churches abuse their position and collect money for a large profit. When we are born into this world we have no choice in what family we are selected for. It is this very reason religion plays a key role in influencing entire families. It is...
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