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Religion; [noun]

1. A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

Okay, so firstly – I don’t mean to cause any offense to anyone, these are just my opinions. Opinions are free!

As the first of three children in my family, my parents made the decision more than twenty years ago to let us decide what our religion would be. For all they knew, we could’ve joined three different religions. Having spent twenty and a half years in this world, I’ve watched all too many live news casts and read too many articles about religion and race influenced discrimination and violence. As of right now, there are two current scenarios that have become either the first article I read on BBC news every morning or sits repeatedly in the first few scrolls of my Facebook Newsfeed.

Back in my primary school and early high school days – which wasn’t all that long ago – teachers would encourage us to watch the news and read the newspapers for our own knowledgeable benefit. All of that is well and good, and I’m sure the same notions are expressed throughout the world. But what reasonable parent or guardian would want their child to sit in front of the evening news and listen to the horrific news of another beheading or another bombing, a coloured man being shot or even another equal rights rally? Religion has such an impact on our world that we forget about the good things.

I read a story the other week about a lady – she is a florist. Well she refused to cater flowers to her close friends wedding to his love because his love was in fact another male. I totally do not understand this – at all. I mean I haven’t attended a gay wedding but I somewhat picture the wedding of Stanford and Anthony in the Sex and the City 2 film. Wouldn’t be a florist’s dream to provide table centerpieces to any wedding though? Anyhow, this lady was fined a measly thousand dollars for refusing to provide her services and what sickens me, is that the community raised $150,000.00 for her. They raised money for a woman who was A; only fined a thousand dollars and B; discriminated against a couple – against love.

Then I watched a video recently on Facebook – in fact I watched two videos. The first video was posted by a man, just a man. He spoke of his denial and rejection from a store due to his personal preference in the sex of his partner. Like seriously, you’re so Religious that you deny people goods and services because you don’t like who they date and sleep with? No one asked you for your opinion! The second video was of an interview format, it showed a dozen multicultural school students asked to describe the person next to them in three words. Not one of those children mentioned the skin colour or other racial features of the person next to them. When the reporter questioned why, they simply stated that it was mean.

So if a child knows what is right and what is wrong, would that not bring you to think that religion has become nothing but a way of discriminating against people of different races and those of the LGBT tag.
Why can’t people just accept the fact that this is the twenty-first century and people cannot control how they feel and who they love and what colour they are – that’s just the way it is. You can’t force someone to only love a person of the opposite sex just like you can’t force someone to do a Michael Jackson in order just to be recognised.

Religion is a choice, or at least is should be. There is no one – but yourself – holding the fact that LGBT is a sin or that coloured people are bad people above your head. It’s a choice you make yourself and as far as I’m concerned, if the Pope can build a bridge, I suggest you can too.

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