According to an article in LiveScience, it is suggest that only 13 percent of people will not identify with some type of religion by 2050. This is taken from trends of increased amounts of religion being seen globally over the years. This does not necessarily mean that these will be major religions, but over 80 percent of the world’s population will identify with some sort of religion. According to Adherents.com, only 16 percent of the world’s population does not identify with any type of religion and over 55 percent of people practice an Abrahamic religion. This can become problematic for people who practice major religions and people who don’t. It would be fine if everyone used their own religions to decide their own personal life choices. After all, we should all have the right to make decisions for ourselves no matter how we choose to make them. However, time after time, we see that people hide behind their religion in order to try to control the actions of others. While there are no statistics that show how many anti-abortion websites there are, it only takes a quick Google search to find out there is no shortage of them. The people running them are not fighting for their personal right to have an abortion, but rather they are working to inhibit other people from making their own decisions on the grounds of a religion they may or may not practice. According to Govtrack.com, there are 71 bills that have either been passed or are in the process of being passed to stop abortion. Additionally, an article from USA Today from 2014 found that twelve states had laws against sodomy and Michigan has recently passed its own.
Religion is fine and good. Many people may need to believe in a god in order to not behave as savage human beings. It’s well and good, but also sad, if at the heart of your religious practice is not belief but fear of condemnation for behaving in an unmannerly way. Whatever we need to motivate us in order to be nice to each other is valid. However, it is common practice to hide behind one’s religion when people behave in sexist, homophobic, racist and otherwise prejudice ways. Society either accepts this or hates the person’s beliefs, which they choose to hide behind and manipulate in order to get their way.
At the end of the day, most religions are extremely personal practices. Most do not encourage the judgment of others or violence at all. In fact, violence is most often not acceptable in the pure form of most religions because people are not supposed to hurt each other and a higher power is in charge of judging who will be hurt. Therefore, it is invalid to hate a person’s religious beliefs that they have used as a method of achieving their means. As a society, we need to stop accepting ideas that come from groups like the Westboro Baptist Church, terms like “Radical Islamic Terrorism,” and other messages that associate religion with being a terrible human being. It causes us to look at “ideas” and blame belief systems when in reality we should be telling people that no matter what religion you practice, prejudice and murder are not acceptable in our society and they need to be held accountable for their actions as human beings first and not as people who believe things we may disagree with. What you believe doesn’t matter. What you do does.
Stop blaming religion, or even taking it into consideration, when we think about laws that are designed to hurt people. Stop associating the horrific acts that people do with a God they may or may not believe in. We live in a society with rules. If a person chooses to violate those rules, even on the grounds of their religion, it doesn’t matter. If they want to live in society fully governed by religion, they should move to Saudi Arabia or the Vatican City.