April 10, 2013
Ignorance of Religion
Faith can be interpreted in different ways. Some believe it is a gift from God while others believe it is a foolish way of life. Many people need proof of something to believe it, for this reason they have no faith. Religion requires great dedication of its followers as well as a strong faith in order to understand. Modern day society revolves around science which requires evidence or proof in order for something to be considered fact. This lifestyle has greatly affected the faith of humanity in God. No longer does the majority of the population believe in religious doctrine since there are no fingerprints left behind by God. The people of today are unable to understand religion as a result of ignorance caused by science, media, and other people.
In order to have a strong faith you first must understand what it is. In Langston Hughes’ “Salvation” Hughes writes an exaggerated account of a childhood experience in which he lost his faith in God. He was in the spotlight of his church during a revival and was pressured to believe in Jesus. However, what he was told about the outcome of this event was very misleading. “My aunt told me that when you were saved you saw a light, and something happened to you inside! And Jesus came into your life” (Hughes 281)! Hughes took what his aunt said literally so after a while he just did what the other children did and stood up. He felt as though he had betrayed his aunt because he did not literally see Jesus. This is a common misunderstanding when it comes to religion. Having faith does not mean that you actually see God right in front of you; it means that you believe that he exists and the events of the bible truly happened. “I didn’t believe there was a Jesus any more, since he didn’t come to help me (Hughes 282). Another common mistake to make is assuming that God will do what you tell him to do when you call on him. It becomes clear to anyone who has tried commanding God that he will not bend to anyone’s will for it is told in scripture that no one is to put God to the test. If a person’s commands were followed by God every time they were made the world would be a much worse place.
With so many different religions and conflicting stories it can be nearly impossible for one to determine what is true and what is false. Salman Rushdie who is an ex-Muslim once wrote about this problem in “Imagine There’s No Heaven”. He encourages the six billionth person of the world to imagine there is no heaven so that they may be free from the constraints of religion. He thinks of the stories associated with religion to be just that, stories, and your response to these stories has to deal with whether or not you believe what they have to say. “Many of these stories will strike you as extremely beautiful, and therefore seductive. Unfortunately, however, you will not be required to make a purely literary response to them” (Rushdie 517). He is at least partially correct because people often wish to know what others believe in terms of religion. Many times throughout history religion has caused great conflicts which Rushdie also notes. “Take a look at the Muslim world, or rather the Islamist world, to use the word coined to describe Islam’s present-day political arm. The divisions between its great powers (Afghanistan versus Iran versus Iraq versus Saudi Arabia versus Syria versus Egypt) are what strike you most forcefully” (Rushdie 518). Religion is such a powerful factor in the lives of many that they are willing to kill if their religion calls for them to do so. Islam is fairly well known for influencing violence between people. The Koran is criticized by many because it tells Muslims to kill Christians and Jews. Clearly Christians and Jews are not happy about this but going beyond this fact Muslims also kill each other so it is no wonder why Rushdie dislikes his ex-religion so much. He blames religion for making this...
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