Fast forward to current times, many people can now follow their spirituality within a religion without necessarily fully supporting that religion. However, by doing this they continue to give legitimacy to the official lines of all these religions. They all claim that their religion is the only true one, that theirs is the superior one, and at least officially they insist that their dogmas are real and that faith in them is an essential element of belonging to that religion. Many of their rules and regulations have no longer a place in society such their views of the role of women, homosexuality, abortion, birth control and so on. As the official religious leaders are often saying: ‘you can’t pick or choose’. If you follow my religion, you will have to play it by my rules.
These same official religious people will argue against dogmas of other religions. While their dogmas are true those of others are silly stories. Very few Christians will accept the 72 Islam virgins. While the Catholic dogmas surrounding Maria are not even accepted by other fellow Christians, the same applies to dogmas in relation to the Trinity, or the concept of the “Son of God” all dogmas that have cost thousands of Christians their life purely though mutual persecution. After 2000 years of Christianity even within that one overarching religion the divisions remain enormous and have – well into modern times – led to many wars, persecution, exclusion and so on. We also see similar levels of intolerance in the other regions, Islam, Hindu, and Buddhism.
We need to go back to the basics of these stories be it pagan stories such as the surviving Aboriginal stories or the original stories of the Bible, the Torah, and the Quran. I see these stories for what they are, moral issues and ethical behaviour and teaching on how a society can survive and live in harmony within its environment. The core of these stories is as relevant today as they were thousands of years ago. There is nothing wrong with these stories, but they can no longer be seen in a literal sense. Dogmas that have been added to these stories and the secular rules that have been included for the purpose of exerting power over the people that are following these religions don’t have a place anymore in our modern multicultural societies. For religions to stay relevant they must be modernised, reflecting 07todays society not the ones that existed 1500 years ago.07
Too many problems in today’s world are because of a superior feeling of one group over another and religion is far too often used to separate people rather than to unite us. Another ‘superiority’ element is based on race which is often7also linked to religion.