In today’s post-modern world, religion is slowly but surely losing its influence over humanity, and as this is happening I’m beginning to suspect that the true value of religious faith is being exposed. When I say this, I’m saying that, with new ways of thinking that make more sense than perspectives offered by organized religion, it is clear that many people don’t have a lot of reason to care about religion to begin with, especially as many people continue to equate all religion with the major organized religions, and the horrible atrocities they are now associated with.
I think that this pattern makes sense. In the dark ages, faith in the religious sense was incredibly strong, but it was due only to the fact that the Catholic Church had created an atmosphere where belief in and submission to God was paramount to survival. Anyone who deviated from the template was persecuted as a heretic. Many died going against the authority of the Church. In today’s world, faith in God is not something you have to have in order to survive. Therefore, many people are only cultural believers, in that they claim to follow Christian values because their afraid of going against the flow, since the Christian culture code still remains subtly dominant to this day.
This mentality is consistently exploited by social conservatives who trumpet the Christian faith, using Christian moral values as a control mechanism to enslave a society still struggling to move on from a frankly embarrassing era in human history. Personally, I think they themselves have a very weak sense of faith. After all, if they’re so desperate to get everyone to believe in their faith, what does it have to say about them? Or, there’s the far more likely scenario that the right-wing sermonizers don’t even believe their own words, and are simply using religion to make a fast buck. Sadly, those self-righteous shysters are all too common, and with them around, it’s little wonder that the idea of religious faith sounds unattractive in today’s world.
Speaking of proselytic shysters, am I the only one who finds it baffling that it’s always the conservatives who take up a religious stance in this world? Why is it that nearly every conservative will leap to the defence of religion when the subject is brought up? Given the consequences of binding oneself or an entire nation to a single religion, what would they have to gain from a staunchly religious stance? Perhaps many conservative politicians only look to religion as a lucrative source of both votes and money, further invoking the human cynicism towards religious faith in the modern world. It might also be possible that religion has become something associated with “the Man”, and in America, nothing exemplifies this more than the presence of the slogan “one nation under God”, which has been a right-wing byword since the 1950’s.
And then, you have the problem of disseminating faith to the next generation. A good reason why religion still survives is because it’s been passed down from generation to generation, but the problem here is that many only believe because they’ve been brought up to believe, and in the Western world, most kids are still brought up on the smoke and mirrors of conservative Christian social values. If given a choice, I think that most kids wouldn’t give a damn about God. I know for a fact that I didn’t until the brief time in which I went to church.
For me, the future of faith is a very bleak one, but that’s only because faith and religion are generally seen by the ignorant masses as one and the same. I think it might also have something to do with the fact that religion isn’t exactly relevant to most people’s lives. If people didn’t judge each other over what they believe, most people wouldn’t even bother cosying up to Christian values, and if religious values have to be kept alive through fear, judgmentalism and paranoid politics, then just how true is our faith in God?
Despite what I’ve said in this article, this doesn’t just apply to Christianity. In fact, it can be applied to any world religion, just that I feel Christianity, particularly Protestant Christianity, is the religion that typifies this trend more than any other, and that particular religion has set a very bad example for other world religions. If the idea of faith is to have any future, then I think we need to rethink the way we see it, and by that I mean we should stop seeing faith as a matter for the whole of society. Instead, I think faith should be a matter of the individual. After all, what we believe ultimately comes down to our feelings and choices. If we continue going with the flow of pernicious sermonizing under the guise of morality, then religion is only doomed to lose yet more meaning in the eyes of many, and when it does finally die, it will die a very undignified death.