A friend asked me, if I were to pick between believing in a different god or not believing in a god at all, which would I choose?
It took a minute for me to answer, but deep down I knew which it is. My exact answer was, “I’d rather not believe, than believe in the wrong thing.”
My friend told the others about my answer. Of course, they reacted about it, but what surprised me is that their reaction was quite typical. I mean, I expected something much deeper and respectful. But they already called me a Theotist immediately upon hearing my answer.
And it made me sad, because all too often, we judge a person by his mere appearance, or in my case, by my answer. Did they even bother to ask why I’d rather be an Atheist than a Muslim? No, because for them, it’s already a disrespect to other religions.
I did not. I was just merely answering a question posed to me, and I did not say that I believe Christianity is way better than Islam or Hinduism. I actually don’t.
My belief in a deity isn’t something that should be confined to a religion. If that was so, then I should just abandon my beliefs altogether. If that was so, then it’s just like we’re basketball fans. We’d be like, “Hey, I am all for the Lakers.” The other would say, “Okay, well I’m a Spurs loyalist since Duncan ever wore his Spurs jersey. And they’re the best.”
The thing is, we ought to be more than that. We shouldn’t believe that our religion is better than the other, because believe it or not, it really wasn’t always a matter of which religion is best. In most cases, people stick to a religion that their culture and family has identified with for eons.
And if we believe that our religion is better than another, then we ought to do ourselves a favor by knowing our world history.
Our religion should make us better. And that means that we should be kinder to those who don’t believe in the same thing, unless if their god commands them otherwise. And it also means by far that we ought to respect their beliefs, because that is something that you do not just ‘debate’ about. It’s a very personal thing, and I dare say it’s all-encompassing.
We all have biases. Even the best ones do. And we have to accept the fact that we all have our own mantras that light our eyes and influence our thoughts and decisions.
If a man was given a set of women whom he can marry wherein he can only pick one, which would he prefer? The blond or the brunette? The black or the yellow? The blue-eyed, hazel, or green? The one with the heart-shaped face or the oval-faced one? The tall, or the not-so tall?
We will always have biases. And I tell you, I won’t be schocked when someone messages me, telling me that I’m a sexist just because I gave that example!
The same thing it is with our religion.
I believe in a God, and He has many names, each representing a facet of His nature and personality. I also believe that the man Jesus Christ is the man he claimed himself to be. And you know what? I do not believe that he came here to establish a religion, nor to promote one.
And I’d sooner not believe in a god than believe in a different god. And it’s because I’m tired of believing. The good thing is that this God of the Bible has provided me with concrete examples and proof of His existence.
I have always been a skeptic. I still doubt whenever I pray, and I still have a lot of questions. But what’s fascinating is that the God I now believe in actually encourages me to ask questions. And only He knows how long my list is!
Lastly, I believe that there is a fragment of the truth embedded in every religion, even in Atheism.