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I was speaking with a friend and the topic of religion came up. He is a devout follower of one religion and wanted to know which religion I followed. I told him openly that I follow no one other than God, that I practice faith not religion. To which he asked, “Don’t I have to choose to believe?”

And that question struck me because of course we have to make the choice to believe. But we are making a choice to believe in God. That is where the choice is made.

Religion doesn’t allow for a choice to be made. It tells you what to believe. It tells you how to live your life. Religion doesn’t care for what your soul says, it doesn’t listen to how God communicates with your individual soul. Religion is fixed, established, rigid. Religion is for the masses.

And to my mind, religion is used to perpetrate great evil. People use religion to justify murdering people. They use religion to justify to the mistreatment of women. They use religion to justify hating people. Religion can be very dark.

But faith is beautiful. Faith is the belief in the One Above all else. Faith puts the love of God before everything else. Faith is practicing your love of God. Faith doesn’t need rules and regulations to exist, it just is. Faith merely needs expression. Faith is giving yourself to God before you give yourself to the world.

Religion demands you give yourself to its cause. To its words. If you don’t follow religion to the letter, then you are condemned. There is no acceptance, no consideration in religion. For me, I struggle to feel love in religion.

But in true faith, you feel the love of God. And when you walk in faith, you find truth in every religion because every religion is a way to connect you to God.

So some people are born into religion, told how they are supposed to believe. They never get the chance to explore what God means to them apart from the book they’ve been told to read as truth. It’s all very condemning in my opinion.

I believe in a loving God. One who cares for the welfare and well-being of our soul. I find it hard to believe in any religion that actively practices hate and condemnation in any form. Hate and condemnation are acts of the Devil in my book, acts of evil. And I don’t believe it is beyond the devil to put his evilness into religion making people believe they are being good all the while masking their evil behavior.

Because what good is killing another for God? Didn’t God create the other person the same as you? Does he not have as much right to live as you? So why would God give you the right to take another life when HE himself granted the life in the first place?

And to the same sense, what good is there in judging a woman as inferior as most religions do? Wasn’t a woman created just the same as you? Is she not as equally important to the creation and maintenance of life on this planet?

Using religion to condemn and imprison and invalidate another’s existence is evil in my book. And so many religions have no issue with taking the rights away from those who don’t agree with them. And that’s just evil.

Everyone was born the same on this planet. We all come to Earth in the same need. We all need God’s loving grace. To act in anything but love towards another human is evil. And it makes me sad how easily people embrace evil.