This I Believe: A Life of Illusions


Lexi Coons, Creative Contributor

Lexy Coons is a huge animal lover who inspires to be a zoo keeper when she grows up. She is bright person whose life goal is to make people laugh and learn how to close a pizza box properly. Coons enjoys playing softball and wants to continue to do it in college. She believes that religion should not be used like a scapegoat.

Praying for God? Or praying for the shattered reality we call life? I believe that many followers of religion have skewed intentions when it comes to their sole purpose of being a believer. I also believe that religion is a coping mechanism for people who  are too uncomfortable with accepting the fact that many tragedies in life, such as death, are ultimately inevitable. Often times people misinterpret the idea of religion. Many followers use religion solely as a coping method rather than actually integrating the practices into their everyday lives.

When thinking about death, most people cling on to the idea that they are moving on into a “better place.” However many people only believe in a “Heaven” because they would rather put their faith in something that sounds beautiful than what science proves. Religion gives people unattainable goals but is still accepted because people have faith that this other life is possible, yet once they could finally have the opportunity to find out, they will never be able to confirm nor deny with the rest of us whether all their sacrifices were truly worth it. People are encouraged to live a life of illusion, essentially a form of escapism. Religion also gives people the misconception that they will either be sent to heaven or hell based off of their actions on earth. Many religions use this belief to influence people into doing horrible things but expressing them as if it is something their God would want them to do. A great example of this is that in some religious groups suicide bombers believe that they will be rewarded for their bravery in the afterlife.

Middle Eastern countries contain a few religious groups that so badly want to spread their views, that they would go to war to fight against countries that don’t uphold the same belief systems. Look at the Crusades, the Thirty Year War, the French Wars of Religion, even the Holocaust, all disastrous situations caused by opposing religious views. I believe that many religions preach to hate thy neighbor just as much as they preach to “love thy neighbor”. Think of the Salem Witch trials, people were so afraid that the Devil was taking over that they began brutally killing innocent people. Another example would be gay marriage. Several Churches are against gay marriage because they think it is a sin and a sign of evil. Same sex couples fall victim to brutal hate crimes often because churches scare their followers with the image of an afterlife spent in hell if an act is committed that their God would consider a sin. People are too afraid of what they have been taught to be willing to accept someone into their society who does not uphold the same beliefs. Many people say that they don’t agree with everything the religion they follow expresses, but why follow that religion if you don’t fully believe in everything you are expected to be practicing?

I believe that religion has the ability to bring about personal and societal harm, but many people act as if we can blame everything that’s wrong with today’s society solely on religion. I believe that religion should no longer be used as a scapegoat for the unexplainable nor a coping mechanism for false believers trying to hide from the inevitable.