Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Imagine No Religion

Imagine there's no heaven . . . and no religion, too. Snippets from my favorite song by John Lennon.

Yes, imagine a world with no religion. Then there would be no religious wars. No discrimination and intolerance because of faith or the lack of it. People living as one in a world without borders.

Imagine a Palestine with no religion. There would be no Jewish people nor Arabs. Just Palestinians there would not have been the constant intifada and the bloody revenge by the Israelis. Too much innocent lives have been lost in this age-old Jewish-Arab enmity. Without Judaism and Islam the middle East would just be another beautiful region famous for its tourist spots mostly archaeological sites. Palestine would simply be known as the place where hunter-gatherers first started to turn agriculturalists.

Imagine an Arab region with no religion. There would be no Shiites killing Sunnis in Muslim Iraq. There would be no Islamic radicals plotting to kill infidels in the vain hope that they'll enter heaven and surrounded forever by dozens of virgins. The women would not be living mummies in their heavy shrouds in Saudi Arabia. Young Saudi males would not be marrying without first seeing their fiancees's faces behind dark heavy veils.

Imagine a Northern Ireland with no religion. There would be no continuing distrust between Catholics and Protestants which caused many deaths in the past. It is still simmering and anytime a Catholic and a Protestant can go for each other's jugular. Bombing was perfected in Belfast and taken up by the Jihadis.

Imagine an India with no religion. There would be no conflict between Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. There would be no men burdened with growing hairs only to be hidden under heavy turbans. Hindus would not go without meat because cattle will jbe a plentiful source of meat instead of roaming in the streets and being kissed in the tails. No Indians will be untouchables; no women get burned with their dead husbands.

Imagine an America with no religion. No televangelists like Herbert Armstrong (who's he? Well, he it was who trapped me in his cult, the Worldwide Church of God for 30 years.) or his ilk extorting money from their flocks. No Pat Robertson, or was it somebody else, blaming the ills of society on gays and lesbians. No preachers calling Islamic adherents as murderous evils thus inciting their flocks against the American Muslims.

Imagine a Philippines with no religion. No Velardes, Quibuloys, Sorianos, Manalos or Ecleos. People would not be wasting their money and time on falses promises of wealth, health and life eternal. No grafters in high offices thinking they could just go to confession or visit the church and be pardoned of their iniquities. Filipinos would not be trapped in ritual religion: sin now by running away with the public's money, donate some to church and charity and live happily ever after. Anyway when death approaches one can repent and be assured of a place in heaven.

Imagine history without religion. Men and women of science would not have been burned at the stake for witchcraft for concocting medicines and technologies that shunted aside the power of the priesthood. Galileo would have continued his astronomical studies instead of being placed under house arrest by the Pope because he dared say that the earth was not the center of the universe which was holy writ for the papacy. There would have been no religious crusades arresting the development of places whose young men were cut down in their primes.

Imagine a world with no religion. Fifty percent of the problems is right there and then solved. People would be one in addressing the other fifty percent. No religious barriers such as rituals, castes, food laws, holy time and places, sacred animals, divine rights, religious apparels, absolute heirarchies, unique revelation, sacred books, etc.

"You may say I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one."