What makes for a great religion? / by kevin murray

People, depending upon their background and their faith, are going to have all sorts of different beliefs about what makes a good religion, with some stating that one should have unquestioned faith in the 100% validity of such a religion and thereby all of its tenets so promulgated, whereas another may believe that obeying all health, dietary, and prayer instructions are the most necessary parts, whereas there are those that believe that part of their faith is spreading that faith far and wide beyond their neighborhood and communities.  In summary, for every religion, there are all sorts of beliefs of what constitutes loyal and orthodox believers.


While people are entitled to believe and to follow whatever faith so interests them, for the most part, religion shouldn't be about dietary rules, and religion shouldn't be about having to pray in certain directions and at certain, specific times, or at certain specific events, and further religion shouldn't be restricted to only certain bloodlines or communities that have been designated as being the favored people of such a religion, and the practice of any religion should not devolve into anything that becomes in its purpose, rote, routine, or unnecessarily restrictive, intolerant, or reactionary.


In point of fact, religion should seldom be about the physical body, but really it should be about a social gathering of like-minded people that are brought together not only for their own mutual beneficence, but also brought together so as to take their faith and its practices and to put forth those beliefs into the real world in practical and vital ways that will benefit all peoples, whether they are true believers or not, by displaying in action the fruits of that religious faith.


That is to say, the best religions, recognize that a religion that stays only within an individual family, or that stays only within a specific congregation, or that stays only within a particular community, should as a faith, be actively doing all that it can to see that social reform and its incumbent benefits is brought forth not only for their congregants, but for society, in general; that is, that faith should be democratic in its purpose and in its effect, rather than  elitist, so that the monies, dedication, and efforts put together by congregants are done in a manner that benefits widely, society as a whole.


So too, great religions, do not discriminate against the gender of those so propagating that faith, but make it part and parcel of their mission, to see that their congregants are well educated and learned, and makes it their point to help in that education, in addition to allowing the equal opportunity for religious progress for either gender within that respective religious faith. 


Additionally, all good religions make it their principle that each person has a personal responsibility for everything that they do and everything that they say, so that, by having such a responsibility, they are held accountable for the things that they do, or don't do, within their community as the true testimony of their faith.   In addition, a good religion recognizes that each individual, is sovereign unto themselves, of which, though they do have inherent obligations to the group, their faith, as well as to society, that the choices that are made, are, in fact, their choices, and the consequences of those choices, are their responsibility, alone.


A religion that makes people look good from the outside, in the sense of politeness, dress, diet, prayer, comportment and such, does little good though it might look nice, rather, it's about developing the inner core of that individual in a manner that the congregant is not only good for something, but good for society, and helps to make that society better, for having that belief.