Religion not needed in order to be moral

Since his dawn, man has placed great importance on maintaining some worship or religion in civilization. That is, until today. More and more, it seems, young Americans (myself included) have consciously taken organized religion out of their lives and replaced it with science and logic. They simply live and make decisions in whatever way they feel is morally right. Let me say I am not here to recruit anyone to my way of seeing things, nor am I trying to preach my own gospel. That’s not my bag. I am, however, trying to show the positive side of my life choice in not having religion, a decision which comes under fire a lot in our religious society. For the better part of my adult life, I have not subscribed to any particular religion or creed. To me it feels like sweet freedom, because I have the comfort to do what I feel is right or wrong based on my own personal beliefs rather than what my religion tells me I’m supposed to think. I am aware I’m generalizing a bit and many people disagree with their religions on certain issues. Still, a great many, if not a majority, follow the dogmatic line every time on moral issues from gay marriage to abortion and stem cell research.’ I am not saying there is anything wrong with having religion; in fact, many of my close friends are very devout Christians. It works for them and that’s great, but it’s not for me. I have given religion a chance in my life and experienced a good amount of Christian sects. I went to a Catholic elementary school and attended a Methodist church for much of my childhood. I lived in the heart of the Bible belt for my first year of college and attended a southern Baptist school. I even dabbled in Buddhism and have thought seriously about joining another mainstream religion such as Islam or Judaism. Over time, however, I started to stray away from blindly following anything and decided I would form my own opinions and decisions on matters. Something that has always angered me about religion in our country is when people with religion act as though something is wrong with you if you say you don’t follow a religion. For them, it’s as though without a set of rules and guidelines to follow from a being on high I am incapable of making a moral decision on my own. This is a slight which my parents would take offense to, I’m sure, having raised me and ingrained me with the ability to make responsible, moral decisions.’ I can honestly say that despite not having religion, I am a good enough person and usually, though not always, make good, morally correct decisions. Many wars throughout history have also been purely on the basis of religious differences. Often in direct violation of their own teachings, they cause horrific amounts of death and violence and sometimes escalate to full on attempts at genocide. Even within a particular religion, there may be various sects causing much infighting and violence. I consider myself a person who is very conscious of my surrounding culture, and as I became older I started to realize the relationship between religion and war.’ I realized the minute differences in worship between Catholic and Methodist Christians or Shiite and Sunni Muslims was not really a valid excuse for the death of millions, and I decided I did not want to be a part of that just to have guidance on what is morally right. I am not trying to preach my ways to people, and that is all I have ever really wanted from people with religion. Unfortunately, that typically doesn’t happen. I’ve had people trying to push the ‘good word’ on me more times than I can count, and it only makes me want to avoid it more and more.’ I’m not saying I have not envied religious people for having the ability to just blindly trust in something like God or the church, but when the day ends, I know this indifference towards religious belief is what is best for me and for a lot of other people. I just wish more people possessing belief in religion in our society would accept it for what it is, because a great American named Benjamin Franklin once said ‘The scriptures assure me that at the last day, we shall not be examined on what we thought, but what we did.’