DETROIT LAKES - A religion is a set of beliefs and practices often organized around supernatural and moral claims, and often codified as prayer, ritual and religious law.
Religion also encompasses ancestral or cultural traditions, writings, history and mythology, as well as personal faith and mystic experience. The term "religion" refers to both the personal practices related to communal faith and to group rituals and communication stemming from shared conviction.
There are many, many different religious beliefs in this world of ours. To me, I like to preach about religious tolerance. Religion is obviously a very important part of our lives.
I just would like to point out that we are all human, regardless of our beliefs. No one has the right to tell someone else they are going to hell for they're beliefs. That would be very hypocritical and controversial to the beliefs of most religions. I mean, do they not all preach about forgiveness and tolerance anyway?
My personal take on the wide-open world of religion is that they are all right in some way, shape or form. I mean if you take a serious look at each of the religions, aren't they all just saying the same thing?
Three of the largest religions, Christianity, Islam and Judaism, all stem from the same person. Abraham, the father of Isaac (Judaism and Christianity), and Ishmael (Islam), in short, they all have the same God. The problem is each of those religions believes that the others are worshiping incorrectly.
What right do they have to say that the other is wrong? Why can they not all just agree to disagree? It is unfortunate that we live in a world where something as small as religion can be the root of many horrors in the world. It is unfortunate that in this world there are those who think holy war should be waged.
It is unfortunate that people such as the gay community should be prosecuted because some book says they are immoral.
I also personally think we all believe in the same values anyway. I think the interpretation of God is changed in each region because each set of beliefs evolved in a different area and culture. As I stated before, many of the core values are the same anyway. The changes are adjusted for each culture.
Religion started as an explanation to the unexplainable. Before science had evolved, people began to question the world around them. They believed anything that happened was the will of the Gods. Many of the current religions were not even alive 5,000 years ago. So who's to say religion won't evolve again into something else.
I believe there is a supreme being that crafted the universe. I just personally think it's not plausible for such a being to be humanized in any way. To me, God is a child with an ant farm. He is watching down on the universe and overseeing. He gave freewill and is allowing us to choose our own fate and our own destinies.
Whether you are Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Chinese Universist, Buddhist, Ethnoreligionist, Neoreligionist, Sikh, Jewish, Spiritist, Bahais, Confucianist, Jain, Shintoist, Taoist, Zoroastrian, Atheist or none of the above, I don't care. Believe in what you want, just do no chastise other people for what or who they believe in.
Christopher Damlo is a senior at Detroit Lakes High School.