Does Religion Cause Racism?

What is the essence of religion? Religion is geared towards living in adherence to the teachings of a certain faith or dogma. Religion is neither good nor bad. At the heart of a religion is the aim to be closer to a higher being. Be it God, Allah, Buddha, The Universe, The Goddess or any other name or form the higher being is

However religion has also sparked war not just recently but also in past centuries. Many people have been divided because of religion. Hate towards those of other faiths have been common.

The Good Side of Religion

Science veers away from religion because men and women of science think that religion is a belief on something that cannot be empirically proven. People of various faiths battle each other to prove that the other belief is wrong.

But religion has a good side. Religion gathers people with a common faith to do good towards others. Many religions teach kindness, mercy, generosity and values. Morals such love for family, helping the poor and having a conscience has been the core values taught by many schools of faith.

1. Obedience – Religion has been away to teach obedience to throngs of people. You may say it is a way to control people. But it does have it’s benefits. If people are obedient, they will follow rules. Rules help dispel anarchy and chaos. Obedience paves the way for peace and order in a community.

2. Mercy – Men are born selfish to some extent. Though we have altruistic capabilities in our hearts, most people will look out for themselves before they help others. But most religions teach kindness and mercy. These teachings lead people into being helpful towards others. It teaches them to show other love. Such that a poor and dirty beggar is helped by another rather than being pushed away due to repulsion.

3. Generosity – Religion teaches people to share our blessings. It teaches us to avoid being selfish. Through the teachings of many religions, people learn to share what they have rather than being self-serving.

4. Discipline – Everybody has his or her story and his or her own agenda. People normally look out for themselves and at times may forget to act morally due to their own personal needs and wants. But religion help man to curb is self seeking appetites. He or she learns that proper behavior leads to benefits in the afterlife and thus adhering to a moral structure can lead to ultimate enlightenment and freedom.

Religion and Racism

If you remember the story of the Tower of Babel where people started speaking different languages and started being separated, this can also be likened to how religion changes men and women. Religion a lot of times dictates culture and traditions. These cause people to act and move in a certain way. At times, these actions cannot be understood by others or can also cause others to feel hate.

1. Division – The main reason why religion causes racism is because it causes us to be divided. People who belong to a certain faith may not want to associate themselves with people from other faith. We cling to what we know and thus this causes close mindedness. Muslims vs. Christians and Christians vs Muslims. Muslims vs Hindus and Hindus vs. Muslims. Buddhists against Hindus, Taoists against Buddhists, Christians condemning Pagans.

People tend to forget that we are all just people.

2. Self-Righteousness – A lot of religions believe that their faith is the “One” faith that would save all. They believe that in order for one to be saved, he or she must cling to a certain faith. This causes people to ask other to convert to the religion that he or she is joined to. Preaching to members of another faith can bring about discord and hate.

3. Condemning Others – Passing judgment who belong to a certain faith can be one of the biggest racism linked attributes of religion. In the recent years, associating Muslims with terrorism has been on the rise. Innocent Muslims have been subject of hate crimes. Their houses vandalized, their children bullied and harassed and their families judged.

One World

Labeling people has been the cause of hate and discrimination. Racism and pegging those from another faith as a lower class or as a terrorist is wrong. We all belong to one world. We are all one race, the human race.

If we set aside our idiosyncrasies and start being more open minded, then we can created a world that is more peaceful.

Combating Modern Day Racism

racial-segregation-67788_640What is racial equality?

Racial equality is the freedom to be who are without oppression from others because of your race or color. Racial equality means being able to live, work and exist without any prejudice due to your race or ethnicity. But does racial equality truly exist?

In this modern day and age, there is still the issue of racism. There is still the harsh truth that some people are given lesser opportunities because of where they come from or their skin color. People still sneer or look at others in a different light. Asian, African-American, Muslims or Latinos are abused, hurt and discriminated against.

Why Is There Discrimination?

Discrimination happens for many reasons. The most common reason for discrimination is because of upbringing. People grew up believing that one race is less than others or a certain group of people act in a certain way. Parents teach children to label others. Aside from that there are many other reasons. Ignorance, prejudice, judgment are common reasons.

The most common reason for racism is the fact that people think that they are better than others. They think they belong to the better race or group of people. This has been prevalent in the past or even embraced, but now it is seen as unacceptable. Racism puts people down and should never be tolerated.

Ignorance about a particular group puts invalid thoughts in our minds. People think that most blacks are uneducated and that most Muslims are aggressive or terrorists. But these are FALSE BELIEFS. People are people. They become good or bad not because of their skin color but because they choose to be.

Races and Racism

America is a melting pot of different cultures, colors and races. This means that this country should be more tolerant to differences in traditions or skin color. But no, labeling still exists

What are the common discrimination?

African Americans – That they are not educated and that they are ghetto. Many people perceive them and uncouth or wild. They associate African American people as drug addicts or gangsters. But this is far from the truth. There are many from this race who are pastors, doctors, lawyers, teachers and achievers. President Barack Obama is a good example that having a dark skin color does not mean you are low.

Muslims, Arabs and Middle Easter people – The worst discrimination and labeling has been given to them. They are often hurt and shunned because of their color or religion. They are called terrorists in their faces. Even children are tagged as such. But like anyone else they WANT PEACE. Most of them went to the United States because they wanted a better life. But even those who reside in the Middle East are NOT TERRORISTS.

Just because a few people decided to hurt others such as in 9/11 it does not mean that their whole race will do the same. Even Christians do evil things and hurt other. Race does not mean you will do something bad.

Asians – Asian women have been overly sexualized over the years. On the other hand, Asian men are seen as undesirable because they look or seem inept in sexual prowess. But this is not true! Asian women do not wish to be seen as sex symbols, they want respect. Asian men do possess the same sexual abilities as other men of other races.

Another prejudice against them is that they are seen as studious and smart. This put immense pressure on them to achieve. Asian people may be hardworking as we them but not all of them aspire for academic greatness. Some of them wish to be into sports, arts, business and music. They are just like any other normal people

Latinos – Latinos have been shown in shows and movies in a bad light. They are seen as only as housekeepers, laborers or janitors. But many Latinos have become successful. They have done well in business, entrainment and different kinds of endeavors.

Aside from that, there is no shame in working in menial jobs. These are decent jobs and they do it to care for and raise their families.

Fighting Racism

Fighting Racism begins with enlightenment and education. One must open his or her mind to other cultures. One must accept that all of us are equal. But each and everyone of us must also spread the word of racial equality.

1. Spread the word – Use social media. If you see a post condoning racism, like it, share it or reblog it.

2. Try to communicate with any race – Remove your prejudice. Have friends from all walks of life. Allow people to see you associate with any other color or religion.

3. Stand up against racism – If you see someone who is treating someone bad because of his or her race, help them. Others will see your courage and will encourage them to stand up against racism too.

4. Travel – The best way to know other cultures is to travel. Get to know people in their home countries and talk to the locals.

Combating racism may not be easy but it is a journey all of us must take to create balance and peace in this world.