Lisa Oz answered:
The Latin root religio means "to bind fast." There are lots of ways in which modern religions attempt to bind us. Ritual, collective history, mythology, and social dictates all serve to solidify our attachment. My question here is, "To what?" If the purpose of an organization is to help us conjoin with God on a profound inner level, then I'm all for it. If instead its objective is to help us identify more firmly with a particular group, tribe, or set of opinions, excluding all others, then I'm not sure I want to be bound.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not anti-religion at all. If I'm anti-anything, it's the narrow-mindedness and personal ambition of people who manipulate religion to further their own aims. And of course, there's always a Bible-toting sociopathic killer, who gives anyone wearing a cross a bad name. Like anything powerful, religion can be abused by both individuals and groups to control, repress, and persecute those who threaten them. That doesn't mean religion itself is bad. I'm always slightly annoyed by people who try to discredit Christianity by pointing to the Inquisition and the Crusades, or think Islam is violent based on the behavior of a few radical sects. In my opinion, they might as well ban sex because of rape and incest.
Much of the way we practice religion today merely increases our ego identification rather than freeing us from it. Religion becomes a means of building false confidence and not a path of surrender and trust. Worst of all, it's used to separate us from our fellow men instead of bringing us into closer relationships.
This sort of faith tends to be based on fear - fear of the unknown, fear of "the other," and fear of who we truly are. Rather than addressing their insecurities, fearful people claim salvation and continue to act with hatred. They pinpoint the faults of others to avoid dealing with their own. There's a cool word I just learned that describes this exactly: antinomianism. It means "using God's grace as an excuse to sin."The Latin root religio means "to bind fast." There are lots of ways in which modern religions attempt to bind us. Ritual, collective history, mythology, and social dictates all serve to solidify our attachment. My question here is, "To what?" If the... More
A religion is a set of faith-based beliefs and practices, which may involve following rituals, as well as ancestral or cultural traditions, writings, history, or mythology. Group rituals and communication may result from shared principles and may provide mystic experiences for followers.
Religion is often described as a system of thought based on belief in an unseen being, person, or object that is considered to be supernatural, sacred, divine, or of the highest truth. Moral codes, practices, values, institutions, tradition, rituals, and scriptures are often traditionally associated with the core belief in this entity. Beliefs about the influence of the divine or ordering entity may influence non-religious codes of morals and ideas of appropriate behavior. Religion is also often described as a "way of life," a set of rules that a person and community may live by in order to lead what is considered a fulfilled life.
The development of religion has taken many forms. "Organized religion" generally refers to a community of people who regularly gather to exercise, acknowledge, or honor some aspect of their belief system in a divine or ordered entity. Other religions are more centered on individual practice, and in these religions the practice of worship may not require sharing these experiences with others.
Religion may be defined as the presence of a belief in the sacred or the holy. Sociologists and anthropologists tend to view religion as an abstract set of ideas, values, or experiences developed as part of a cultural matrix.
Understanding a patient's religious belief system may be crucial in providing culturally-appropriate medical consultation. For instance, some individuals' religious beliefs may require healing practices which are given as an adjunct to or sometimes instead of what may be considered standard care. For instance, a religious practice may dictate that a newborn's placenta is taken home for burial under a corner of the house due to beliefs about the afterlife when the standard protocol is to dispose of it in a biohazard container after giving birth. In other situations, a person's religious beliefs may forbid such medical procedures as a blood transfusion.
You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.A religion is a set of faith-based beliefs and practices, which may involve following rituals, as well as ancestral or cultural traditions, writings, history, or mythology. Group rituals and communication may result from shared principles and... More