Why do you think people often prefer not to discuss religion?
I found this week’s prompt to be very intriguing. My first actually derived from a calypso in Kurt Vonnegut’s book Cat’s Cradle. “I wanted all things to seem to make some sense, so we could all be happy, yes, instead of tense.” This actually happened to come from my favorite calypso from that book.
Truth is, until a divine being is revealed to us and performs miracles in front of our very own eyes, we really don’t have enough proof of a higher power to throw around the claims that we believe in. All we have is several sacred books, our minds to decide how reliable these books are, and most importantly this gut feeling that guide us to our faith. That gut feeling can’t really be explained, nor does it really make sense. And the thought that we could be wrong, especially about our feelings, can make us tense. So, sometimes, it’s easier to come up with our own perception of what life means and our purpose, and then go on to live our lives according to our narrative than it is to offer others the chance to question our lifestyle and disrupt a living system that we’ve grown to be happy in.
Additionally, a sad reality of our world is that too many nations have too far politicized religion and killed in the name of their faith. Too many nations have shed blood and tears and divided themselves in the name of their gods. To have finally reached a point in this globalized world where we – somewhat – live in tolerance has shown us some peace that our societies have long yearned for. There will never be a time where everyone follows the same set of uniform beliefs. You will never come across a time where ALL humans believe in communism or even a point where all believe in democracy. Even with proof, not ALL humans believe that the Earth is round. So, while it’s perfectly fine and healthy to discuss opinions and views, I think most of the world has gotten to a point where having uniform beliefs is no longer a concern as it’s too draining.
Personally, I was born post 9/11, and as a Muslim, all I knew was a world that believed I was oppressed, a terrorist, or an extremist. Growing up in an international school with people from over 90+ nationalities, with different backgrounds and beliefs, it was easier to find happiness in each other’s company by finding our common grounds as opposed to discussing our differences. As a young Muslim who was saddened by the way the world viewed other Muslims, the idea of not discussing religion among my peers made me feel safe and welcomed at school.
Featured image retrieved from: https://timbouwhuis.nl/religion-or-religion-universality-and-particularity-in-religious-studies/