How Your Religion Might Not Be Truly Yours
Could it simply be the influences of your upbringing?
Religion has always been a sensitive topic because every religious person thinks theirs is the best. Nowadays, it’s gotten so bad that it makes people feel uncomfortable. I work in the tech industry and noticed people are more comfortable talking about anything else given the choice between religion and other sensitive topics — e.g., race, gender, etc… Though a religion discussion is considered a taboo subject, I still think it’s fascinating how informative and intriguing it can be at times.
A good colleague and I were talking about our plans for the weekend. I mentioned that I was helping out with a food drive that my church was organizing. Then we started talking about our religion. He’s a Muslim and I a Christian. I don’t believe in shoving religious beliefs down people’s throat, but rather believe they should be noticed if they are indeed the driving forces behind our behaviors — i.e., our lifestyles. We talked for a while and realized we shared many things in common, though our religious beliefs were so different.
In comparison to my colleague who was born in India and raised Muslim, where the Quran is their source of truth, my upbringing was all about the Christian faith and deep knowledge of the Bible. I’ve always been curious about other people’s religions and I find it to be one of the best ways to learn about them. Belief is a strong motivator and people go to great lengths to protect theirs. I think religious beliefs are the strongest of them all — many countries have gone to wars with others because of religion.
I have been thinking about how much of my religion is truly mine or rather the influence of others — e.g., if I was born somewhere in the middle east in a Muslim country instead of a North American Christian country, would my acceptance of the Christian faith come so easy or would the guidelines of Christianity sound completely absurd? That’s not to say Christianity doesn’t exist at all in those countries, however, it isn’t predominant.
I believe religion is something that is instilled in us. At some point, a decision must be made whether to accept or reject what has been taught to us. As controversial as it may sound, if we can look at religion subjectively we’ll see though we might have different religions, our core values tend to be similar.