In this day and age it baffles me to hear of arrests, punishments and even death arising due to apparent violation of religious laws by people.

Why would someone decide that I should follow what they believe in and follow it to the latter to an extent of punishing me, putting me under arrest, whipping me, killing me? Is it not my choice on how to worship? Is it not my choice on whom to pray to and how to go by it? Shouldn’t it be my decision on such matters?

 

Not so long ago in Sudan, a woman was put to jail for professing a different religion from the one she was born into. It wasn’t like she had been forced in to her new faith. No, on the contrary the leaders and the country laws were forcing her in to their faith and not giving her the chance of choice, the beautiful freedom given to all human beings. Choice. She had her choice, and she made it. Every human being has their choice. Why don’t we respect this? Why can’t we Christian or Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist, or even atheist allow our people, our offspring, to have and enjoy this freedom?

These series of questions have been brought about by the recent arrests I have been reading about in the media about how women in Iran are being charged and jailed for removing their Hijabs. Personally, I have nothing against the Hijab. I love the reasons behind it. I respect all who wear and respect it. But why would a woman be put in jail for refusing (or removing) hers?

All major religions are out for the common good of all human beings. If we say we profess a higher faith, we worship a Higher Being, then who are we to hold to judgement to those around us? Who are we to meet out punishment or even kill those around us? Who are we, mere mortals, to torture and torment fellow humans who are like us mere mortals? Especially the killing bit! Who are we to kill?

Human life is precious. Any human life is so delicate, valid and worth all forms or attainable respect. Let us value that. Let’s put life over religion. Let us put life over understanding. Religion shouldn’t come over the perfect thing, Life. I mean without life what is the use of religion?

Humans of New York’s Brandon is in Africa. This post caught my heart.

The innocence in children and the dreams they have should be left to mature up. Let them make their own life’s choices. We may have been wrong with our choices, but they have their chance. Let us not make them live our lives. A religion that doesn’t allow the ‘Freedom of being human’ and ‘choosing’ isn’t a religion. Instead, such borders colonialism.

Religion is truly the opium of the people, the way I see it. But does religion send me to heaven? Do laws made by man send me to heaven?

You have a choice. A God given choice. That’s what I believe. Every single one has freedom to choose. Choose freely but wisely.

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