Thursday, January 15, 2015

Time to say goodbye to organized religion and religious practices.

Let's get straight to the point here.  It is time we did away with organized religion and religious practices.

Undeniably, from the beginning of civilization, the single biggest cause of war and strife has been religion. Though the proponents of religion will site several examples where religion has contributed positively to human existence (art and architecture are justifications often heard), the misery that religion continues to cause us makes such contributions pale in comparison.

While doing away with religion entirely would be ideal, it may not be possible just yet.  After all, the need to believe in the existence of a higher power, and the need to find meaning for our relatively insignificant existence is deeply rooted in the human psyche and one cannot wish it away.

However organized religion is something else altogether.  It is clear that organized religion has evolved and exists today solely to manipulate the masses.  From the shamans and witch doctors of yore to the popes, priests and imams of today, all are guilty of exploiting peoples' need for God for their own nefarious purposes.

Obviously, we cannot get rid of these organized religions by asking them to disband themselves.  They are too rich, powerful and power-hungry to relinquish something they have built over millennia.  However, we are, as individuals, still free to escape from their clutches.

Towards this end, let us together launch the 
Movement to Promote the Abandonment of All Religions and Religions Practices.  
To join this movement, what you have to do is the following:

  1. Keep your religion an internal one.  
  2. Remove all outward symbols that broadcast your religion to others, including but not limited to special attire, markings on your body/face, referring to your God out loud, participating and conducting religions rituals and celebration of religion specific events.
  3. Avoid espousing the benefits/advantages/superiority of your religion.
  4. Stop visiting your temple/mosque/church/synagogue. Importantly stop filling up their coffers with contributions.  If you need to ditch guilt money somewhere, then use it to feed the poor or fund some other meaningful social cause.
  5. Allow your spouse and more importantly, your children to choose their own set of beliefs.
  6. Name your children in such a way that your religion is not discernible from their names.
  7. Changing your name is probably going to be too complicated, so just introduce yourself as EKA followed by your name.  EKA is short for Earlier Known As and pronounced ee-ka.  That way, everyone will know you belong to the movement.
  8. Though this movement will not have any central office, will not collect any monies from people, nor have any logos and symbols associated with it beyond its long and unwieldy name, it is important to ensure that this does not end up becoming another religion.  At the same time, it is important that people who join the movement let others know about its existence.  So, if you belong to and believe in this movement, you will greet others with the word "Peace" instead of hello, hi or any of the common words of greeting.
  9. If somebody wishes to learn about this movement, share with them this note and allow them to decide for themselves.  Do not proselytize.
  10. Sincerely believe that this world and all its resources belongs to not just humans but to every living creature on this precious planet and act responsibly at all times.

In the immortal words of John Lennon: -
Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...