Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Don't ask, don't tell

After reading a post by a fellow blogger, there was a rush of thoughts that went in my head. I wanted to document them as a post. Though a bit late but still, I wanted to keep my word of writing my own post on the same topic. The topic of Religion.

This post is not meant to offend any one or any thought process but merely reflects my opinion on the topic. I strongly feel that religion is a very, very private concept which should be kept personal. It should be your own personal duty to explore religion and understand it rather than blindly following it by imposing your own ideas and concepts on others. 

Usually, I don not even talk on this topic openly. A friend of my father once gave me a great advise. It was when I was going on my first individual trip away from home all alone for a trekking adventure. I have great respect for him so went to meet him before my trip to take some tips. One of the tips which still stand firm in my head is related to this topic. He told me that if you are alone and away from home and suddenly you find yourself sitting with a group talking and chatting and out of the blue, the topic of religion comes up, stand up and walk away from that group at that very moment. At that time I hardly understood what he meant. But slowly with time I realized its true meaning and importance. I experienced over time that - Misinterpretation is an easy stick to beat people with. This is the reason I said before that this should be very personal and private. Thoughts and ideas can sometimes conflict and cause problems leading to severe consequences specially on this topic. Events mentioned by the fellow blogger are a good proof of this.

It is an open fact that in history there is more blood spilled on the name of Religion than for anything else. Wars have been fought. People have been slain. Generations have been wiped out. It comes as no wonder that even learned and famous people have spoken against it since ages. One of the most famous comments come from Karl Marx who said - Religion is the opium of the people. Even Friedrich Nietzsche could not resist in saying - Faith means not wanting to know what is true.

Incidentally, I was in discussions with some colleagues lately on the same issue. Last month a colleague came to work and gave us the news that he has officially left the church. Actually in Germany, as a catholic or protestant you are officially registered with the church. Being a member of the church, you also have to pay a church tax from your salary every month. There are a few perks which come along paying this tax. This way you are officially allowed to attend the Mass and also the right to religious burial etc. I asked him the reasons to leave the church. He said he was not very happy to see the current state of affairs relating to religion, particularly his own. He rightly mentioned how in history horrendous acts of brutality have happened on the name of his religion. Also, the latest abuse scandals totally distanced him from the church. This is not just his story but as I observed over the years, the story of many in Germany. A few days later, I read a related news which did not surprised me and proved that this phenomena is really challenging the church. My colleague also suggested me to watch the movie, Magdalene Sisters. It was quite new for me to learn about that true story.

It immediately reminded me of all the scandals happening in India related to the so called "Holy Men" like Nithyananda to name a few, tarnishing the meaning of Religion. None of the religions I know have been spared by the misdeeds of a few bad men. There have been and there will be people misusing the name of religion for their own benefits. But that does not mean the whole concept of religion is bad.

Even after listing all the criticism against religion, I can still say that I am a religious person. I still have a faith in which I believe strongly. Because for me an atheist is also believer of a faith. The faith in the "absence of God" because like a person who cannot prove the existence of God, an atheist can not prove its absence.

I follow my religion which is relatively new and open. The interpretation which I made from it on the topic of religion can be compared and related to the structure of a university. Let me elaborate it in my next post.


Pattu Raj said...

Religion, is a very very private thought and should be kept as such.Historically , it is whipped up for private ends.

I liked that advice from your friend's father.

Bubblegum.... said...

Great post. The news of Godhara kand and discussions hurt us, Amdavadis more than the 2001 earth quake. I am not a Modi fan, God knows who did what, I know one thing, I never faced a curfew for more than two days and when I see my city developing at this speed and that too enjoying with all other religion, I feel awesome. People who never lived in my city comments without basis irks us out,still. We have moved on and people should also. The delay in the judgment has almost erased all proves against guilty. What is the use now, let people stay and enjoy! Sorry I might look agitated, but it hurts a lot.

the.orchestra.of.life said...

Pattuji: I totally agree. That friend of my father is a very well traveled man. He has a very open head and heart for which I respect him a lot :)

Bubblegum: I know absolutely how you feel. I hope people develop more patience and acceptance of each other with time.

Zephyr said...

The problem with any organised religion is its intolerance. The Crusades, the progroms, the jihadi spirit -- everything brought only large scale destruction and death. I have personally experienced the miracles of faith time and again. But like you, I believe that it is a personal thing. I like your idea of having faith because there is no evidence of absence.

You might like to check out my friend's take on this http://whatho.in/2012/why-the-scientific-method-troubles-me/

the.orchestra.of.life said...

Zephyr: Thanks for the link you mentioned and the post looks very close to my thinking and idea of faith. The example of a blind world on the post is exactly how I perceive this topic :)

nehawrites said...

And importantly, religion is been used as a political tool to divide the masses or herd them like sheep to follow a certain path. I agree, religion should be private. I think your friend's dad gave sound advice to you.

Magdalene Sisters has been on my list of movies to watch.

the.orchestra.of.life said...

Yes Neha, the movie is powerful at so many different levels. The character which moved me the most was of 'Crispina'. The way she used to see her child from behind the gates and the way she used to miss him was heartbreaking :(