Religion will be a sensitive topic for years to come and though I can't say I've been a part of every religion in the world, I do respect everyone's beliefs while preserving my own. I believe that religion first came about with man's need to explain and understand why we are here. After all, we are known to be some curious creatures. I also believe that the very first religions were key in providing some moral guidance and helping our ancestors live with less conflict. It is no surprise that religion changes from country to country as do seasons and traditions. On a personal note, I was born a catholic but I find every religion fascinating. I mean can you imagine how different your life could have been just based on a different religion alone? And there are so many to choose from.
There's Christianity and Catholicism, who have some similar roots but in my opinion Christianity is a bit more strict. I base that thought solely on personal experience though. Both religions are more or less centered around the idea that if you are a good, kind and caring person when you die you will go to heaven. There's also Hinduism, which I find very interesting because it is more "a way of life" for those who practice it. Most forms of Hinduism practice henotheism which means they believe and worship one God but accept the possible existence of other ones. You also have Buddhism which is both a religion and a philosophy. There is also Judaism, Shinto, Islam, Jainism, Taoism, Sikhism and that is just to name a few. There's many more! The list could go on and on.
When I learned about things like the crusades it kind of created a bit of a dark cloud over religion as a whole for me. The crusades were "holy wars" blessed by the Catholic church and even the pope, where they fought for access to the holy places in Jerusalem and many lives were lost. I couldn't understand how something like Catholicism, which in my opinion, begin with good intentions could support such chaos. It took me a while to understand that some people do abuse religion but that shouldn't corrupt the guidance most religions provide.
I think is a good thing when children are born into a religion as long as the given religion isn't abusing them. I support it because of the moral reinforcement and again, guidance it can provide but I also believe that when they are older they should be allowed to choose if they want to cherish the beliefs that welcomed them when entering this world or not. If a child is born and his/her parents are atheists they should again, be able to decide if they would like to join a religion once they reach a certain age. Let's not forget that some of the major religions where started by people who left the one they were born into. So who's to say your child won't create a religion of their own? I also think we should raise children who are tolerant of other religions and traditions.
I'm not saying that's the way it should be but I am saying everyone should be allowed to choose. I stress the right to choose more than I do religion itself. After all, every mind is a whole new world and we have the gift of free will. In my case, I believe that there's something out there, a "force" that allows us to choose good over evil everyday. Something that allows us to keep moving forward and helps us get up every single time life knocks us down. That we shouldn't judge others and love nature. For me, the real question would be "is that something within us or above us?" and to that I say "don't worry about where it comes from and try to be a better you everyday."