Saturday, February 23, 2013

Has religion failed Humanity?

Sunday Morning Sermon - Feb 24, 2013

Guys, Let’s face it. The world is in an absolute mess and nothing seems to be working. The reason religion is becoming more and more unpopular and is being replaced by materialistic systems like atheism, secularism and capitalism, is only because of the follies committed by the many, so called, religious people on the planet. 
The parish of the world’s religions can broadly be classified into two types: those who forward a distorted version of their religion, and those who aren’t doing anything to counter the distorted version that is being put forward. Both are just as bad. Religion has failed to tame its followers, atheism has provided a shield of arrogance to atheists, secularism has stripped the world of a moral foundation and capitalism has promoted greed.  
How can a Buddhist, Christian, Catholic, Hindu, Jain, Muslim, Tao, Scientologist, or even any other believer of some faith or philosophy, claim that their belief is the righteous one without even trying to understand or study the other with an open mind? And when I say study, I don’t mean listening to your Pastor, Monk, Imam or Guru; I mean study the religion in depth, yourself.   
Believers need to understand the time in which they are living, and realize that their religion must be compatible with any time and any age, to be considered a credible and valid one. Just because these faiths were founded many thousands of years ago it does not necessarily mean that the tenets of the faith can’t be understood and also move with time. The texts may remain the same, but human understanding of these teachings have to conform to common sense and also the developments that have evolved in the time and age that we now live in. Believers need to become more diplomatic, and compassionate, while using rationalism and science to propound their message. They are so concerned about what other people are doing  they often neglect their own character and ego. In the pursuit of denouncing others - calling them names like ’kafir’ (non-believers, infidels etc) - people often end up renouncing their own faith by labeling people with names they have no right to. My advice to believers would be to rectify your own faults before worrying about others.
The monotheistic religions, call for the word of God to be spread. But when radical believers of one faith claim that their God is humanities only savior, and without believing in Him they can never be saved, then, the whole stability of humanity becomes affected. There are many who claim that ‘I can do what I want because my Holy Book says I’m going to Heaven anyway.’ It is this sort of hubris which is grossly off putting to those of other faiths. 
When I say religion has a problem, I don’t mean it in a literal sense. I mean the followers of the faith have problems; often quite profound and deeply psychological. The problem arises when the ‘followers’ use their religion as a tool to further their own selfish agendas. People often fight in the name of their religion when they don’t even understand the essence of their religion, and even worse, don’t understand the religion of those whom they are fighting. It’s an oxymoron, that is downright stupid.  
All religious believers need a more holistic and pluralistic understanding of their religion. We need to understand the essence of our own religions before trying to preach every intricate detail of its facets to others.The non- religious need to understand that religion is not based on ignorance but on the intellect and it is only the followers who use the former and not the latter.
We can still strive for Peace on Earth, One humanity, One World, if we only start thinking in a common sense manner.
May All Beings Be Happy!

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