I believe religion should only teach what is right, and as per experience, it did. So I believe it is beautiful.
The Philippines is known to be the only Catholic country in Asia. But that doesn’t mean it is a hundred percent catholic. There is a large part of other Christian denominations and of course, the Muslims.
What makes religion beautiful?
One very obvious thing religion does is that every group strive to guide their members towards what is morally right. This is driven by that faith towards an invisible God through the teachings found in the Holy bible or for our Muslim brothers, the Holy Quran. It is inspired by the promise of eternal life. This is fueled by the unwavering conviction of the preachers themselves, who tirelessly proclaim the good news they believe to be true.
What’s Cool with Christians
Christians are awesome. They have made a lot of difference around the world. Think about the Education system that the Catholic Church continue to share until today to nearly every place. The hospitals, the home for the aged, the orphanages, and many others. It is indeed very remarkable. It transforms lives of so many people.
The advent of Protestantism also bring something new into the life of the Church. Although misaligned from the Catholic Church, the truth is they have created a new breed of believers who are on fire with their newly found faith. It somehow revive those lifeless faith they have as Catholic Christians. They were able to develop passion and dedication to what they believe is true.
What I Love About Islam or the Muslims
Muslims are faithful and they adhere to the teachings of the Holy Quran. They find time to stop working and pray to Allah, and they do so in a remarkable way. Their way of worshiping Allah is so simple but there is beauty in that simplicity.
I like the fact that they don’t have statues which other religion considered as worshiping idols. Although as a Catholic I understand why the Church have statues and that we don’t worship them, I sometimes think that giving up those statues would rather simplify things. It will bring other religion a bit closer too.
When we talk about Islam, we can imagine Muslims who are superior. I think they really are superior. I can say they are superior, because I haven’t seen or heard of a Muslim housemaid here in the Philippines yet. They have the sense of pride in their culture. For sure it also has something to do with what they believe in Islam.
Why Religion Isn’t Beautiful?
I don’t like the fact that there are so many religion today. I think it is okay to have two or three, but forty thousand different groups competing with each other and all claiming to be the one true religion founded by Jesus Christ isn’t cool anymore. It defeats the meaning of truth by making it look relative. That your truth may be different from my truth and that my truth is different from yours and we should respect that. Well, it seems okay but referring to the Holy Bible, we can see there is only One Truth and that single truth cannot have different meaning that we need to respect for the sake of meeting others halfway.
Religion isn’t beautiful because it divides families and friends. It brings barriers to family members who are separated by religion and what happens next is that the family can talk about anything except their faith. And if you discuss about faith, it will be a disaster if not handled properly.
Muslim’s Extremism Isn’t Cool
Obviously ISIS isn’t cool. Most of the trouble in the Middle East and in the Southern Philippines is because of Religious Extremism. While it is remarkable how they wanted to spread Islam by hook or by crook, in today’s time we really cannot appreciate anymore violent ways of spreading one’s faith.
The Abu Sayaff kidnappings Isn’t cool either. The Maute terrorizing Marawi City is worst. And they claim doing it in the name of Allah shouting Allahu Akbar meaning Allah is Greater.
I agree Allah is greater, but I certainly disagree about what these Muslims are doing. This is total misunderstanding and maligning of what the Holy Quran is teaching.
So what is not cool in Islam are these people who try to use it as if it is really what Allah wanted. If Allah is Love, certainly He does not like killing innocent civilians for the sake of spreading His religion.
Indeed beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. What some considered as beautiful may not seem to be at all for others. It is really important to educate people so that we can bring out the best in every religion in stead of those which are unlikely.
Religion as God’s way of gathering His people should be beautiful! Religious extremism should find its defeat through intensive education and information dissemination. Well informed faithful will surely make a difference despite of individual differences.
Freedom of religion is a must, but I believe there must be limits to these freedom. It must be limited to do only what is spiritually and morally good. Extremism has no place in God or Allah. It divides families, friends, and nations.
Therefore I believe religions of the world should be bounded by the laws of every nation. They must have Freedom to preach, as long as what it bring is Unity, Inspiration, and Fruitful faithfuls. A nation should be able to Stop, discredit, or ban certain religion from operating if it promotes violence or extremism.
God is Love, and God is Love Alone. Love conquers all and so therefore war and violence has no place in God. Not anymore in today’s time.