I say the words Jesus Christ a lot for somebody who doesn’t believe in the notion of God. Or religion in general for that matter. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it for as long as i live; our perspectives are moulded by the experiences and lives we live. I don’t have anything against religion in particular, and I’m always up for discussions about it. Discourse is and will always be necessary for growth, of perspective and mindsets, which serve as a foundation of life itself.
I think I’ve always struggled with writing about heavier topics that may actually have repercussions on me as a person. But then again, it’s naive to think so because everything else I do will have its consequences. However, I think it’s harder to be honest when it concerns the essence of my very being. It’s not that I’m an unbeliever of God, or any form of higher being, per se. I just have trouble believing in something I have doubts over. For me to truly believe in something where I can fully devote myself to—in a way that’s all-believing, non-questioning, I have to be in a state where I’m not faced with a plethora of questions.
My family’s always been religious. We pray, we give thanks for our food, and we sing the praises of the Lord for all the blessings we’ve been showered with. And even if my actions don’t always show, I’m always grateful for moments like these.
I’m always going to be open to discussions about religion. It forms so much of our lives, from small things like the way we eat, the rituals we have, to bigger things like the way we live our lives, through our actions and mindsets.
Institutionalized religions should focus on the good we do, not just on whether we decide to pray or visit holy places to worship. However good as a guide, I don’t think we need religion to tell us how to do good and to treat others as how we would like to be treated.
People will have their reasons, and I will have mine.
More often than not, the idea of God’s existence helps us justify our origins, the ever-present question of where we come from, and where do we go from here? Nobody likes not being in the dark about things, especially when it’s our own very existence in question. Extending from this, I think religion plays a huge role in life and death; the promise of paradise when our time comes. For that matter, it’s not so much about death we’re afraid of, but more towards what happens afterwards. Do we transcend planes to another dimension where we’re reunited with loved ones who have passed on? Or do we simply cease to exist? And in believing in religion, we have an answer for that. It is the unknown that we are afraid of, not death.
Religion as I see it has departed from what it really should be. At this point, it’s a social and moral construct which serves to justify our actions, and in a way, negate our wrongdoings. A reason to justify when things go wrong, when realistically it is us who controls the vessels that we steer. It is us who make the decisions that we choose to make, it is also us who ought to bear the blame for that.
Interpretations are fallible. Teachings should be never bring harm upon others. Life isn’t hard. That’s our doing. We overcomplicate things, and it is our own actions that have bearings upon the world. Not the religions we choose to follow, or the Gods we choose to worship.
Article by Saik Ming
Cover Photo by Pui San