It can safely be said that the world is divided into three types of people – religious people, spiritual people, and atheists. Atheists don’t believe in any kind of higher power or religion. To them, life is all science and random events.
A spiritual person believes in a higher power, a purpose of life, and certain divine aspects, but don’t prescribe to a certain religion. Religious people put their faith in a single religion, such as Christianity, Buddhism, Catholicism, Islam, etc.
No single belief system, or lack thereof, is better than the other. We live in a country where you are allowed to believe whatever you like, without consequence. However, there are some incorrect and even dangerous myths floating around out there about religious people.
We’re here to clear a few of those up. Keep reading to learn more about the common falsehoods surrounding religious groups.
Myth 1 – Religious People Are More Judgemental
Whether you prescribe to a certain religion or not, you’ve probably had a run-in with a religious person who’s rubbed you the wrong way. In some cases, people are turned off by religious friends, relatives, co-workers, or strangers because they come off as judgmental.
However, the myth that all religious people are judgemental is completely false. You simply cannot categorize an entire demographic of people based on some extreme members of the group. It’s no different than saying all vegans are outspoken or all car salesmen are shady.
Myth 2 – Religious People Are Less Tolerant of Others
Sadly, people have a tendency to draw lines in the sand. We often make classifications like “us vs them.”
This can be seen in the stark contrast when looking at religious people vs non-religious people. Unfortunately, this has led to the assumption that religious people are less tolerant of others. However, there is an equal amount of opposition and disparagement on the secular side.
Furthermore, we must always remember that extreme views in certain belief systems don’t necessarily represent the whole. If you have a religious uncle who thinks your tattoos are “evil,” it doesn’t mean all religious people feel that way. In fact, many religious people sport their own tattoos.
Myth 3 – The World Would Be Better Off Without Religion
It’s often said that religion is the root cause of all of our problems. People believe that all of our wars have a religious undertone. While religion has been behind violence in the past, we tend to place all of the blame on certain religions, like Islam, Christianity, and Catholicism.
However, if you look back at the Viking Age, the marauders who came from the north hated the Christian religion and made a habit of torturing priests. But more importantly, the world would not be a better place without religion.
The truth is, religions make people more accountable for their actions. In most cases, a person becomes a more enlightened, peaceful, and loving individual when they’re praying to God or reading daily Bible verses. And of course, this applies across all religions.
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Myth 4 – Religious People Have an Irrational Belief System
A common criticism of religious people is that their belief systems are irrational and unbelievable. They point to stories in the Bible and express the improbabilities that any of it actually happened. They lean on science to disprove religion.
Yet, whether you’re looking at historical texts or your own experiences, there are many things in life that we cannot explain through science alone. For instance, there are several religions that believe in reincarnation. While atheists and other non-believers will say this is fiction, there are countless stories that prove reincarnation is possible.
For example, there are documented accounts of young children who have knowledge of past families with members they can name and accurately point out in pictures. In some cases, reincarnated souls have been reunited with living family members from a recent past life.
Myth 5 – Religious People Are Always Preachy and Invasive
When you’re not as excited about a topic as someone else, it can be annoying to hear them talk about it all the time. This can include religion, music, fitness, art, anything.
This fact has led to a myth that religious people are overly outspoken, if not preachy and invasive. However, a religious person who’s excited about their faith and wants you to go to church with them is no different than someone who’s jumped onto the health bandwagon. They’ll be just as likely to ask you to come with them to the gym and tell you how you could improve your current way of life.
In the same way that your religious friend will tell you they go to the best congregation, your fitness friend will tell you they have the best trainer. Try not to ostracize religious people because you don’t want to hear the message they’re trying to share with you.
Myth 6 – Most Religious People Are Hypocrites
Finally, there’s a pretty dangerous and inaccurate myth that all religious people are hypocrites. They preach love and compassion while simultaneously coming off as judgemental and intolerant.
First, examine your own perspective and judgment. Often, we see our own worst traits in others.
Secondly, accept that we are all hypocrites to some degree. While scrolling through social media or reading the news, we are very quick to make snap judgments of people or get upset without knowing the whole story. Similarly, there are lifestyles, actions, and choices made by others that we don’t agree with.
Religious people are still human. Of course, they have the potential to make human errors.
The purpose of religion is to reduce their errors while focusing on something more divine. But this doesn’t make you a perfect being overnight.
Are You Harboring False Beliefs About Religion and Religious People?
Have you been looking at religious people through a filtered lens? Or maybe you are religious and feel like your friends, family, and co-workers don’t understand you?
Regardless, we hope that reading some of these myths can help you put some inaccuracies and falsehoods to rest. The key thing to remember is that we are all human. And no matter what religion, belief system, or political group we subscribe to, we are all worthy of love and compassion.
For more lifestyle advice or insight, check out some of our other articles before you go. Our blog was created to help our readers navigate this complex thing we call life.