Religion cannot be quantified by numbers nor can it be dismissed as fluff. It is an emotional decision that requires years to develop, so belonging to an organized religion has its pros and cons.
Religion is a source of community, love, structure, wisdom, anarchy, war, and pain. Across the world, most people seem to be divided and at the same time brought together through religion.
There are a multitude of religions, but they all seem to come from the same source, specifically the four Abrahamic religions of Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism. All four religions share a common story in their holy texts of God, as a male figure head, who reigns from above.
All the books may sound different, but they’re very similar.
Their holy texts are guide books for living a wholesome life. They teach you about being charitable. They also give some great advice when you are going through challenging times.
They teach their congregation about having faith in oneself and how the power of their God’s presence in their life will allow for the destruction of their sworn enemies (The Holy Bible, Psalms. 55:15)
They talk about not hating or “abhorring” one another (The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, Deuteronomy 23, 6).
They all believe that their way is the “only way”! (The Holy Bible, John 14:6) (Message of the Quran, Sura Al-Ahzab 33:64)
They all believe that their God is the best God! They all believe that their wisdom is the greatest wisdom!
Present day religion, primarily started about 600 years ago. It appears that someone decided that it was time to tell another story of the creation of this world. Their holy texts seem to all come from the same place in ancient Kemet.
These ancient texts, like the hieroglyphs in the Book of the Dead, tell a similar story of the reincarnation of Horus (Faulkner 133). With the development of the printing press by Buddhist monks, this allowed the heads of state like, Chandragupta Maurya and King James, to make their religions a standard in their empire and to the empires closest to them in the 1400’s and the 1700’s.
These books were to be called the Torah, the Bible and the Quran.
Their texts were considered sacred. The heroes of these Holy texts were eager, pure, devout and kind. They went by Jesus, Muhammad, Moses and Siddhartha Gautama (better known as Buddha).
Their laws are upheld by monks, priests, imams or rabbi’s, who tend to be an all-male cast of men who have dedicated their life to the service of following their religion and to share the proclamation of the glory of their God.
It is common knowledge that these texts were either written by the heroes themselves or their followers and scribes.
It seems to follow Horus’ birth, life, death and resurrection and has been rewritten in the bible as happening to Jesus, especially in Acts when it speaks of how Jesus returns again and again to remind his friends and followers of the “kingdom of God” (The Holy Bible, Acts 1:3).
The same thing seems to happen in the Quran. In the Quran, it states “"O Prophet! Truly, We have sent you as a witness and a bearer of good news (to the believers, and a Warner (to the disbelievers) And (We have sent you) as one who invites to (the Protection of) Allah, by His Leave, and as a Lamp spreading Light ((Message of the Quran, Sura Al-Ahzab 33:45-47).
They also talk about loving one another, yet preach about “cursing unbelievers” (Message of the Quran, Sura Al-Ahzab 33.64) (The Holy Bible, Galatians 3:10).
In the Torah, there are verses on how to go about enslaving someone because they are a different race than you (The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, Leviticus 25, 46).
In the Anguttara-Nikaya (vi, 5, III, 56) they speak on the reasons one should leave or enslave a woman in the Buddhist religion.
This seems to mirror the Christian, Muslim and Jewish belief that one could rape and own a woman based on where she was from (The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, Deuteronomy 20, 10-14) (The Holy Bible, Deuteronomy 20:11) (Message of the Quran, Sura Al-Ahzab 33.50)
Interestingly enough, the actual holy texts that they are writing from and teaching about show how to find God within one’s self, yet the four prominent religions require its’ followers to abide by their texts’ teachings and not to stray or to “lean on their own understanding” ( Proverbs 3:5-6). They want you to reach outside of your self to try to understand yourself.
Their holy texts all have strict rules for its followers to follow, which are intimately spelled out for you.
There was to be no glory in being a woman, being of a different race (place), or having less than the majority.
Most of the women go nameless throughout their holy texts, yet are deemed pristine or of honorable mention when they produce well or marry well.
The caste system that they all seem to abide by looks something like this: God has the highest favor for the preachers and speakers of His word; He honors the warrior-class; He appeases the wealthy; and He punishes and pity’s the poor and disadvantaged people of the world, especially if your skin is of a darker hue.
It is so interesting to witness people of these religions fight and war amongst others, even though they are teaching, ascribing, elevating, fearing, honoring the same principles as the “other” religion. They all seem to have the same goals and aspirations.
Their mansions, virgins, paradises’ and heavenly gates will be waiting for them all after they spend their time here on earth. So, it seems that in the end they all win and I guess that should be the point.
Andrews, Carol, and Raymond O. Faulkner. The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. Austin, University of Texas Press, 1997. pp. 133.
Andrews, Karen. “Women In Theravada Buddhism.” Alliance for Bhikkhunis, www.bhikkhuni.net/women-in-theravada-buddhism/.
English Translation of the Message of the Quran. Lombard, IL., Book of Signs Foundation, 2006.
The Pentateuch and Haftorahs: Hebrew Text, English Translation, and Commentary. London, Soncino Press, 1990.
The Holy Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments: Translated out of the Original Tongues and with the Former Translations Diligently Compared and Revised Conformable to the Edition of 1611, Commonly Known as the Authorized or King James Version, Barbour Books
The One Year Chronological Bible: New Living Translation. 2nd ed., Carol Stream, IL, Tyndale House, 2007.