Faith is the cornerstone of existence. Believing in something greater than oneself and living with a moral compass is the basis of a religion. Thousands of years ago, society needed answers where there were none, religion provided that. It’s been a great tool to stay centered and spiritual but it also proved it can be harmful to its followers.
Masses of people need something to believe. Humans tend to behave in a ‘cult’ like manner because survival is easier when people stick together. Rallying others takes special tactics and a strong belief system.
When Catholicism, Islam and Judaism were adopted, these teachings were concentrated to certain areas of people. It’s no different than the Roman’s who believed in their own Gods or the Egyptians. Subsections of religion were created throughout the centuries to answer our biggest questions: why are we here and what happens when we die?
The answers given by these theologies provided direction and rules to follow. The stories in holy texts laid the groundwork for living a productive life. The spirituality that accompanies these thought processes gives us a deeper connection with the universe and the world around us—people gravitate towards that. Praying for absolution and direction insights peace. When people live to die, the thought of having a higher purpose goes a long way. However, any ideology has its drawbacks.
The spread of religion by force or compliance was the beginning of the turn. Power resides in the masses and if the power is harnessed, so are the masses. This is where the greatest and most trusting aspects of religions are skewed. When you are relying on a belief system for your right to life, it affects you in ways you might not think about. A strong belief in anything can cause anyone to be biased. Theologies that require allegiance to an idea—needs devote followers. Wars were waged behind this devotion: the Crusades and The Reformation, the ethnic cleansing of Jews and the plight of Islamic extremists.
The radicalization of religion invokes life or death. The same idea that it was created to center the soul becomes the catalyst of disruption. When religion became an institution, the power was transferred from the believers to the malevolent. Harmful agenda’s were found to be intertwined with the overall message to hurt the different and vulnerable.
The purpose is to maintain spirituality within oneself. Once the power has been given to another cause, the individual is a prop under the guise of religion. The negative aspects cannot metastasize if people maintain the devotion to their personal faith. Religion can not be used to hurt others if the intent doesn’t exist.