Sunday, August 20, 2017

Religious Conflicts: Will it ever End?

If kids curiously ask questions like “Why is the sky blue?” ”Why does it rain?” or “How do babies form?” everyone else has a lot of questions lingering in their minds too. One of the most talked about question that has been repeatedly asked up to this date is “How did religion began?”

The tale of religion is a long and multifaceted one, filled with stories of conquest, transformation and salvation. Religion has existed about ten thousand years ago as most scholars concur. During the olden times of human history, people used gods as an answer to justify a lot of questions and uncertainties they couldn’t explain. Like for example people were sick because a god was punishing them for something they did wrong or we all existed for the reason that we were created by a god. The natives were thinking that a god or goddess must have existed and have supernatural powers to cause everything to happen. These gods can do things that normal people are not capable of doing. They live eternally and they have the power to protect as well as inflict harm to them. Due to this, they wanted their gods not to get mad and continuously give them what they are asking for. So they find ways to make the gods happy. They give presents, worship them at a sacred place, or talk directly to them adoring how great they are. This is now what we call “Prayer” in recent times.

Religion can even go beyond controlling the minds of men given the fact that it has been a subject of dispute among conversations, casual or formal discussions or an area of debate in journals and daily newspapers. A simple question like “Do you believe in God?” can branch out into a lot of arguments, especially with two or more people disagreeing because they have different points of view. We all live in the same circle of life, and we just cannot shun the fact that, in one way or another, we will always encounter people who will try to question our religious beliefs. We just can’t walk away and get irritated. We can be honest with our reactions and just ignore our friends’ statements if the going gets tough.

Others too would want to seek answers from somebody else out of curiosity. You can ask but make sure you are not being offensive. Remember, religion is a sensitive issue. Start with simple questions that you think you can have illicit substantial responses like “Who accompanies you when you go to church?” Their reply will then give you an idea what their religion may be. From that point, either your conversation will quickly end, or you will ask them to further explain their religion. And if that scenario was handled in a non-intimidating manner, it could advance to a budding companionship. You could then ask follow-up questions but of course in a friendly way. However, it doesn’t mean that if you have developed friendship, you have the authority to initiate religious discussions as the center of your daily topic. It may turn out to be frustrating. And don’t try to convince your friend to switch his or her spiritual practices as this can make them feel bad. In the case of couples, religious disparities can lead to positive results if they are successfully muddled through. They can deepen their relationship by exploring more on these differences and at the same time getting to know more about their partner as well as themselves.

Religious differences may cause a significant barrier towards appreciating each other’s perspective if not fully understood. Like for example, in a married couple with two different religious beliefs, these discrepancies may potentially be destructive if not carefully dealt with. It can compel a negative attribute towards each other most especially if one of them has a strong fixed belief that their church is more superior in comparison to others.

In conclusion, despite our opposing religious beliefs, this doesn’t mean that we cannot respect one another given the limitations. Let’s us try to see the other side of the coin and value the uniqueness of each other. Above and beyond, increasing understanding through religious discussions is important as this can eliminate pre-existing biases and stereotypes. It is also a good opportunity to reassess what we believe, strengthen it and pave way for spiritual growth to occur. And no matter what our religion may be, it doesn’t make us less of a person.