For me, freedom of religion is as important as freedom from religion. While most people understand that their right to practice religion is important, they often don’t understand that someone’s choice and decision to not participate in religion is equally important. For years I listened to their religious teachings and arguments, then decided that I just wanted to be a decent human — one beyond any religion. While I still enjoy and celebrate the art in all religions — mythologies, prophetic stories, spiritual sayings and music, I choose not to subscribe to any one in particular. People often say religion is very personal but then go on to judge others for not doing it ‘right’, not being ‘true’, or not following it at all.
I’ve come to observe that there are many people like me for whom the sole goal is to live a decent life — one of harmony and kindness. They are not particularly concerned with the existence and impact of religion — unless of course when it infringes on their own rights to not follow or practice. On the other hand, many religious groups speak with complete conviction and determination that nothing other that what they belief is right. While I seek the truth on my own journey of life, I find peace in knowing that no one really knows the ‘ultimate’ truth. What I do know is that the qualities of kindness and love, the pursuit of knowledge and discovery along with a thirst for true contentment can guide us navigate this journey we call life quite effectively. Freedom from religion is an important tool for many people, just like religion itself.