It’s an interesting question that all of sudden came up to my mind. There are some reasons why I asked this question to myself, and hopefully to the readers out there who might have the same curiosity as me. I live in Indonesia, a country that officially admits 6 religions to be followed by the citizens. There are Islam, Catholic, Protestant, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Kong Hu Chu. The people have a freedom to choose which one they want to follow generally speaking, though I cannot avoid saying if in some areas people are “forced” to follow a certain religion.
There’s no place for the atheist here although for sure there are lots of Indonesians who are progressively decreasing their belief towards religion lately. There are some reasons too for that to happen. Some of them might think if religion, whatever it is, just restricts the freedom of life. That religion is full of the rules to be obeyed is obviously making some people put down their belief.
I once was asking my friend in USA of why he chose to be atheist, and the answer was surprising.
“Following religion means I have to follow all the rules no matter what, but I wasn’t sure that I could do those things perfectly. I at some point still cannot avoid doing what the religion says NO!! For me, it doesn’t make sense if I follow it but I still do the things that it says no to me. I don’t want to be a hypocrite who shows if I am very religious but frequently I still do the things that the religion forbids to do.”
I was silent for a while. I feel like I saw a big mirror in front of me reflecting myself. His answer was true. He thought if it’s better to be an atheist after all because he can do whatever he wants without being tied by the religion’s rules. And yes he doesn’t want to be a hypocrite who has “two faces” pretending to be the righteous but actually is very rotten inside.
Now what I see in Indonesia, this country is full of hypocrites. That the religion is just the matter of ID card is obvious (people in Indonesia are obliged to mention their religious view on ID card, school, and any kinds of official documents). The role of religion in their life is so decreasing significantly that people now don’t care of who they are and what they do. Started from the governmental system where the corruption is number one here. Well yes it happens in every country in this world, but the number of people doing so here is so damn high!
What I see in the US, the number of corruption case is lower than here while most of the people there are atheist, or I can say they do not tend that much to what religion says. However, they knew how to run their country aside from some problems that also exist there. Then how about in Indonesia? People here have a religion to follow. It means they should have known how to behave and how to run the country.
To give a reason, when people believe in religion (Whatever it is) means they believe in God, reward, and punishment. If we are doing good, we get a reward and vice versa. And definitely the religion teaches us every single things that hopefully could make us have a happy and harmonious life. It teaches us to keep walking on the right path. It teaches us to believe that there will be a hereafter where we would live eternally. It teaches us to always do kindness during this temporarily life so that we will live in heaven in the hereafter not in hell. It teaches almost every good thing that the human race should have, should don’t, should do and should don’t to say the least.
However, the real fact is so pathetic. Indonesia, where the majority is Muslim surely should have known their own religion’s commands. But I can say if the number of ignorant people is higher here, especially those who run for the government. The number of corruption and its “friends” is so freakin high as if they were collecting wealth as mush as possible for them and their groups while millions of other people still live in hunger. This makes Indonesia still far too long to call a prosperous country. Undoubtedly this country is so rich in terms of natural resources, but lack of good human ones. The ones who run the government and other important aspects of life are just a piece of sh**. It is very difficult to find honest people in this country.
The government is so proud with the chart telling the number of poor people is decreasing year to year while the fact is very far too long from the so-called statistic. The poverty shows showing in the TVs are just like unimportant shows because they are too busy with asking pay hike, new luxury cars, homes, offices, and those bullshit stuff!! They are doing a sh**ty job to say the least.
And the lives of majority people is commonly same, live under the poverty. The rich make their billion homes safe with building the wall as high as possible. Segregation is everywhere. In the religious lives, Adzan (call to pray for Muslims) is just like a normal command that people barely willing to hear. The so-called ustads (teacher of Islam) are busy with their shows on TVs, their personal businesses, their wedding, etc etc and I think it is only in Indonesia a so-called ustad plays in a helmet add (A friend of mine once said).
Not to mention some of them just do debating, debating and debating about which Islam that they think is the most correct one. And definitely this lead to the hatred inside Islam itself. And then there are many so-called Islamic organizations who act as if they were the police. Doing riot here and there. Forcing people to believe in them. They deliberately show the disrespect towards other religions. That Indonesia is the most respectful country inter-religions and ethnicity is simply a history in the past. There are many other things happened in Indonesia that weren’t supposed to happen according to the religions. This humble blog might not even enough to post them.
As the result hatred, hatred and hatred is everywhere covered by the “holy” reasons.
Lady Gaga said “There’s nothing holy about hatred.”
Therefore, what is exactly the role of religion in our life if we see the today’s fact, we live as though we weren’t the believers? I’m a Muslim and yes I’m not a perfect Muslim, but I don’t want to hide behind the classic reason “nobody’s perfect.”
That is a magic words people often say after they did some mistakes as though it was just fine and legal. I just follow my religion according to the Quran, Al-sunnah and Al-haddist (3 heritages of Islam) and yes what my heart speaks it is right. I don’t want to force others to follow my religion because I know if it is people’s privacy. I don’t have the rights to do so. I don’t want to show off my religion in an exaggerate way. What I believe is, for me is my religion and for them is their religion. I try to respect others’ belief. If they try to disturb me and my religion, then it is another case.
If people ask me about my religion, then I’ll answer it. If people need me to explain my religion, then I’ll explain it based on my knowledge. The most important thing is I know who I am, and my commitments towards my religion. What is the meaning of following religion if I still keep the hatred towards outsiders, do what the religion says no deliberately, or kill others, bomb others based on some vague reasons.
Seriously people now are easy to believe in what others or media say without looking it first from many point of views.
Please inform yourself!!
My American friends once said if all problems in this world come from religions. But for this one, I strongly disagree. Religions don’t cause the problem, but the followers do!
Like a knife, it can be a useful or dangerous stuff depends on who uses it. I believe if in every human heart, there is good and evil side, and it depends on that human which one they tends to be during their life. Yes people, everything depends on us, depends on our heart. If some people use religion as their mask to do something evil, it is because they lack of knowledge of the religion itself or simply just learn it from the surface.
They didn’t learn to the context of it. Or this is the most vital thing, their hearts are blind until they are unable to see the real truth. There are many factors causing the chaos in this world, but it never happened if we could keep our heart clean. You don’t believe it? ask your own heart and listen what it says.
However, I haven’t put any thought to be an atheist. In my respected opinion, being a believer is what I meant to be. I feel my life is not that dry because I have three important elements of life, not only IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and EQ (Emotional Quotient), but I also have SQ (Spiritual Quotient) which makes the IQ and EQ balanced.
So, yes.. think about it again! What is exactly the role of religion? or if we already have one, where did the values of religion go so far? Is it because of the huge effect of globalization, or as the signs of the end of the times? or people’s hearts now are getting bloody dirty until they couldn’t see the values of the religions itself, and the faith of humanity? You have your own answer!