When most people think about religion, they think God, Jesus, Islam, Buddha, Muhammad or something of that sort. But there are a lot of things in this world that can be called religion. Religion is just not about spirituality.
For instance, environmentalism has become a religion. There is nothing wrong at all with wanting to be conscious of your surroundings. There is nothing wrong with wanting to take care of the planet you live on. It's something we should all think about on a daily basis, and it wouldn't hurt if every person acted in some small way, each and every day. John Mayer is a big proponent of getting people to make small steps which add up to giant leaps. Most people are not aware that it can be less efficient, energy wise, to recycle plastic and paper than to simply produce new plastic and paper. Environmentalists block our nation from getting to oil reserves we have domestically. Environmentalists want to impose strict sanctions on business that will probably cause some business to move overseas costing us jobs. It's not the run of the mill, Joe Blow picking up cans and paper on the side of the road that are wanting these things. It's those that have an agenda, political or otherwise.
Politics has slowly but surely evolved into a religion. Right versus left. Conservative versus Liberal. Republican versus Democrat. Politics have always been littered with issues that are highly charged. In my lifetime, I've seen it go from Tip O'Neil and Ronald Reagan having differences but a mutual respect to Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell just outright disliking one another and leaving no room for compromise. People like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Stuart Smalley, oops, I mean Al Franken, and Jeneane Garafalo breed hatred and division with their inflammatory and comments. Today's politics are all about identity and choosing a side. No matter the issue, a conservative Republican will rarely agree with a policy that is seen to be a Democrat idea, and vice versa. Gone are the days of give and take and really staring down the barrel of an issue and taking a heartfelt stance. People tune into a liberal or conservative agenda like it's following Jesus. It can't be wrong and anyone who disagrees is labeled unpatriotic. We should be moving forward and breaking free of the chains that bind. If we do, we can get more common sense candidates to run for office. Moderates need to start making a difference and stop letting the fundamentalist right and the lunatic left set the agenda for the future of our country.
For anyone living in the state of Kentucky, it will be easy to understand what I'm getting at next. College/University identity has, or always has been, a sort of religion. I've heard time and time again that it's impossible to like more than one team. Fans love their school and hate their rivals. And that's OK....it's part of it. But, when the hate carries over to actually disliking people or verbally beating someone because of the team they like, it's gone beyond being a common fan and has crossed over to fanaticism. I get it, I'm a part of it. Less and less, but still, I have my UL posters up and I will still on occasion argue basketball and football. But, when it takes me to the point of anger and frustration, it's time to move on and take the importance off of it.
None of the things I mentioned are inherently bad. But, anything that isn't dealt with in moderation, integrity, and respect eventually gets out of hand and causes hate or a climate of "I am right and you are wrong". Nobody has it all figured out and we'd do well as a society and as human beings to be able to respect how someone else feels or views things.
"...and no religion too..."