I hate religion.
Every time I say that I get lots of glares, then someone accuses me of being an atheist!
Atheist? Good God, in my book it takes a great deal of arrogance to be an atheist, for just looking around at this planet, not to mention the universe of which we know so little, tells me that there has to be a much greater creative force than humans will ever be able to understand.
So yes, I believe in a much greater creative force than humans, and being human, I too have a natural instinct to worship it.
Nothing wrong with that, I suspect.
My dislike for religion therefore has nothing to do with a belief in God, by whatever name. It has to do with the distorted messages religions send and the chaos and bloodshed they leave behind as they try to confuse people and yes, TO MAKE MONEY.
For with religion comes people who claim that they and they alone know the truth about everything.
I grew up in a Christian home, where Jesus, the Bible etc were everything and could never be doubted. The ritual was church as many times as possible during the week and up to three times on Sundays. Added to that, there were nightly prayers and it was drummed into our heads that we should pray to God for everything.
Well, I have a friend who grew up in those identical circumstances and some years ago he told me he was an atheist. When I asked why, he told me that when he was a teenager and taking his Senior Cambridge exams (yes, he is close to 80, for that exam was many decades ago!) he prayed to God every night to let him pass.
Well, he failed.
So the next year he repeated the exam, did not beg God for anything and studied fiercely.
So, he tells me, from then he decided that he had to rely only on himself to succeed and he and his family have indeed succeeded immensely.
Well, I am not going that far, but I too definitely stopped praying to beg for anything for decades now. What I do every day though, is to thank her for everything.
No begging, only gratitude, and I really feel good about it!
But back to religion.
Of all the established religions, I dislike Christianly the most.
Maybe it’s because that is the religion I know the most about or maybe it’s because just about everyone I know claim to be Christians, and I find most to be despicable people.
Add to that white evangelists seem to be such terrible people. I say seem, as I am not aware of ever having met any, but when I hear what their leaders say and read what adherents write, I really cringe.
However, having grown up in the Christian church, I really love Christian music and still play it often.
In fact, I was motivated to write this article after listening to one of those songs. I liked it so much that I even posted it on Facebook, dedicating it to my Christian friends, during Holy Week.
However, while I love the music, the boring thought of flying around drinking milk and honey all day is enough to send me flying!
The Bible too drives me crazy and most times when I hear quotations, my response ranges from laughter to downright anger. A really laughable one is Solomon having 700 wives and an example of the ones that set me off are the misogynistic sections starting from the insult that I was created from a man’s rib.
Over the years, because of my interest in, especially, the afterlife, I have looked at many religions but the only one I think I could ever join, when I reincarnate, is Buddhism.
My attraction to the Buddhists comes from the fact that they are the most peaceful religion, for they certainly don’t believe in or practice killing people to convert them!
My only problem is that they are so peaceful and against shedding blood that they are vegans.
Having spent so many decades revelling in delicious meats, I could never, at this point, stomach the thought of living without meat.
So every time I see a live animal, I feel so badly that I promise it that I will become a vegan in my next life, for in this one I am just too far gone that I can’t even find the will to change!
Let’s see how that pans out!
Joan Williams BSc, is a Jamaican who was educated in Canada, USA and Jamaica. She has travelled extensively in the USA, Europe, Asia, Latin American and the Caribbean. A self-described ‘political junkie,’ Joan is an author, retired talk show host and opinion journalist. Her latest book, 2020 decision: Socialism, racism or happiness? offers an outsider’s perspective on issues raised in debates leading up to the 2020 US presidential elections. Her other books currently active on Amazon are; Looking Back, the struggle to preserve our freedoms, Talk Jamaican, Hidden Gems of Jamaica, Tour Jamaica and The Original Dancehall dictionary. Up to her retirement in June 2016, she hosted in Jamaica, Joan Williams on Line on Power 106 radio. It attracted a dedicated worldwide, live audience through the Internet. She also wrote a monthly column entitled “Enjoying the Jamaican Outdoors” for the Gleaner, highlighting places off the beaten track which she visited on her regular hikes and bicycle rides into the Jamaican countryside. Joan is an active grandmother, a dedicated writer, a committed hiker, cyclist and outdoor lover and an accomplished artist. Link: https://youtu.be/0H4JzQPRDks