Religion - Sacred Practice Or Weapon?

United States
December 15, 2006 10:32pm CST
There are a lot of discussions I've seen that descend into people whipping out religion to back up their arguments, falling back on their faith and beliefs as a weapon to prove themselves right. Am I the only one who thinks this trivializes religion? Taking something that should be a highly personal expression of faith and the connection between a person and their diety/dieties and turning it into a weapon in petty arguments just smacks of bad taste to me. It seems disrespectful. Saying 'god/gods say/s this' or 'god/gods think/s this' just makes me wonder how much a person truly believes and respects their faith, and how much they think of it as just convenient rhetoric. Maybe it's because I believe religion is such a highly personal thing, but it seems to me that if someone truly respected their faith, they wouldn't throw it around like a statistic. Thoughts?
4 people like this
20 responses
@BunGirl (2639)
• United States
16 Dec 06
I often quote the bible when discussing various topics, but not as a weapon, more as a reference. I am simply telling folks why I think what I do. Scripture effects my thinking on nearly every subject, so I often refer to it.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Dec 06
Yeah, there's definitely a big diference between quoting relevant scripture to illustrate a point and using scripture/religious text as a sword and sheild in a debate.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
17 Dec 06
i agree with you.. if you really have a strong faith in god who dont ahve to throw it to other like yo are the right and they are wrong. sometimes religion get misused. those who think religion is a social responsibbility and not a personal belief then i think they are on the wrong track.
1 person likes this
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
16 Dec 06
Very well said, and I agree with you. I have seen this often as well, and it is usually perceived by myself as a display of intolerance for anyone's view or opinion that does not jibe with their own. I respect all people's faiths and do not feel I need to impose my own spiritual path on anyone particularly within the context of a debate.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Dec 06
ugg i've been saying this for years. it's like they try to fight you by saying ooh yes it says so in paslm so and so.. if it was such a sacred practice why re most religions not even practiced the way it used too be?
1 person likes this
@angelicEmu (1311)
16 Dec 06
I absolutely agree with you! Religious beliefs should be personal, and just because someone has a religious belief, throwing their dogma at those who don't share that belief as though that's proof that they're right is just stupid, and passive-agressive, as though disagreeing with them is an attack on their right to their beliefs. Monotheseistic religions are the worst for this kind of thing, and many of them seem to view their religion as a sort of gang, with their "god" as a sort of "godfather" figure. They seem to get upset that other people don't revere the god they've chosen too, as though that diminishes their right to worship as they like, or is some kind of threat to them and their faith. It's true madness if you ask me!
• United States
16 Dec 06
Thank you very much for your comment. I really like the comparison you've made between religion and the mafia, because I think it's a very valid one. And one that I've never thought of. And I've always been confused by the whole 'your not worshiping my god somehow makes my religion less'! I don't think any god really cares one way or another if someone doesn't believe in them.
1 person likes this
• Netherlands
19 Dec 06
Wow beautifully put. I agree that it is stupid to to throw beliefs at a non-believer as some sort of fact that proves everything. As religeon is not something that can proof positively be shown as fact, it is futile to use it as proof of something or other. Some people though, use it like a "Take that" sort of thing they think will end arguements. I think that it can serve to cheapen religeon if people resort to tossing bits out at others. It serves best to hold it to yourself and live by its principals. Other people's feelings about it should hold no regard to it. Let people criticise and question it all they like, why should you care what they think anyway?
• Netherlands
19 Dec 06
Some people truely respect their faith as they understand respect. It is truely obvious sometimes that people's meaning of respect is different than the next. Some may throw out their religeous statements because they feel they are honouring it by attempting to show the offender the errs of their ways. This to me is wrong as I keep my beliefs to myself and chose not to try to show anyone anything. Fact is different people think differently of course, so you will always have someone who does things differently. It is hard to say wth such a intangible topic.
@Script (592)
• Australia
17 Dec 06
Great point and comment... Religion is personal. Just because someone does not believe in the Christian God does not make them any less spiritual or able to believe in a higher spriritual being. People that throw around quotes from the bible as a form of defence from a debate frustrates me. I believe many people do that because they don't know how to respond to any real questioning and intellectual debate of their religious beliefs. Most of the wars that have happened throught out the world have been instigated by that very arguement. 'My God says this, and you're God doesn't exist.' I realise I am getting off topic here *laughs* but what right does anyone have to tell someone else that their belief system and spirituality is wrong? I don't necessarily believe what propaganda that the fundamentalist Christians spout off, but I do believe in their right to believe in that. No matter how wrong I think that dogma may be. The only time I think that there should be intervention in religion is when it turns to violence. And that is a whole different topic as often there is a very fine line between being tolerant and understanding and being scared and reactive.
@ajinder (122)
• India
17 Dec 06
It is actually sacred practice but it has been used and is still being used more as a weapon.
@kahheng (281)
17 Dec 06
I once read a post by someone (not in myLot though) about religion and I quite agree with him. This is the gist of his post: Religion is a medium for control. Ages ago, people are not civilised. They, generally, have shallow thinking and believe almost anything told to them, by their leaders, without much thinking. Thus, it was used my leaders ages ago to control their subjects. Since everyone is unlearnt, their knowledge are limited as to what they see and hear every day. When their leader (or should I say king) would preace to them that the do's and Don'ts as these are the words of god! and the loyal subjects would follow, anyone who goes against the 'teaching' would be executed for defying god. This happened in Europe at one time too. During the renaissance era, scientists were prosecuted and tried for 'witchcrafts' many were burn at stakes. Today, many europeans have advence in they mentality and mind thoughts, thus religion can no longer be imposed onto them. If we look around, many has the concept that religion is something personal. It is between that person and god. The same cannot be said to religion prectice in 3rd world countries, developing countries. If you look at these countries, you would notice that religion is somewhat a 'force' thing. That is how the leaders use it to control their subjects. For example, if you look at Africe today, it is the same, leaders suppress their subject by doing little on their country's education and would use religion to suppress and control their people. It is a very powerful tool. In the mean while, them leader enjoy all the privileges and wealth of the country. Yes, it is not right doing this, but they are doing it. In short, I would agree that many leaders uses it as a weapon. It is only a sacred practive to those with civilised mind.
@DanHibiki (422)
• United States
17 Dec 06
some statue in brazil - I don't know what this statue is called, but I know that it is somewhere in Brazil.
Interesting topic! I too believe that it is wrong for people to use religion in the manner that you described. Those people are basically tainting their own faith.
• United States
16 Dec 06
i agree with you besides i notice that people take religion as mask or caumouflage to proove to others ,they are honest,reliable and good this mask takes many ways like dress,look and swaer by the name of GOD,but their reality will be shown sooner or later
@abg1988 (340)
• India
16 Dec 06
I feel that religion is a sacred practice
@lvhughes (545)
• United States
16 Dec 06
my religion is a faith/belief i teach this religion. if saving one soul means thowing my religion around then so be it. i dot put down on any for their belief. but i believe that i should be just as free to have my faith of God as someone that dont believe in God. if someone doesnt have my belief then i have no right to tell them they or wrong no more than they should tell me im wrong
• Brazil
16 Dec 06
Sadly, I got to agree with George Carlin's 11th commandment "Keep thy religion to thyself" That would solve like 50% of the worlds wars and problems. ;-)
• United States
16 Dec 06
I think that people pick and choose when it comes to religious teachings. If they have a position they are trying to shore up, they look to the teachings of their religion. If their bible seems to agree with their beliefs they use it as "proof" that they are right. If the teachings are something they disagree with, they conveniently forget that it's in their bible. You have to ask yourself how much you truly believe if you are censoring your own bible.
@pongutas (61)
• Brazil
16 Dec 06
That's verry hard to respond... in some 'temples' , that can be used like a massive conscience controller.... like the nazist make in germany... ussing the weakness os the people to manipulet...
@vipul20044 (5796)
• India
16 Dec 06
No. Religion is not the weapon nor really ever the cause. It is the excuse. If no one had an excuse to make war "acceptable" would we ever participate in it? No we wouldn't. As people we all need that reason. The excuse to do the things we wouldn't mormally do. Religion seems to be the base of many of the "wars" but the war is really in our own hearts and minds.
@tsprabhu (705)
• India
16 Dec 06
Religions are many in this world.. But all of them teaches something which is good to people. This is common. But people make a lot of assumptions, imaginations and such things about their religion and their God. But none seems to really follow the ideas, teachings and principles of their religion!
@clover779 (698)
• Portugal
16 Dec 06
Religion is more like a way of controllign people.
@ESKARENA1 (18296)
16 Dec 06
the ideas behind religion are sacred but what men do with the ideas are profane