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Religion is the Most Dangerous Doctrine

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By ignatius awang braminiaPublished about a month ago 3 min read

It all started when Matt and his friends were lounging around in Ryan’s basement, half-watching some random action movie on Netflix. They were in that post-high school limbo, all trying to figure out what came next. College? Work? Backpacking through Europe? The usual questions.

"Hey, have you guys ever thought about how dangerous religion can be?" Ryan asked out of nowhere, flipping a bottle cap between his fingers.

Matt raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"

"I mean, look at history. Wars, crusades, terrorism. All in the name of religion."

Chris, sprawled on the couch, chimed in. "Yeah, but religion also does a lot of good. Charity, community, stuff like that."

Ryan sat up. "Sure, but think about it. The core of most religions is absolute belief. And when you think you're 100% right and everyone else is wrong, that can get dangerous fast."

Matt nodded slowly. "I get what you're saying. But not everyone takes it to the extreme."

Ryan leaned back, looking thoughtful. "True, but it only takes a few people to mess things up for everyone."

This conversation stuck with Matt longer than he expected. He started noticing things. News reports of religious conflicts, debates over moral issues, even just small-town arguments that got heated because of differing beliefs. The more he thought about it, the more he saw Ryan’s point.

One afternoon, Matt and his friends decided to check out a new coffee shop downtown. They grabbed a corner table and continued their usual banter. The place was packed, and as they sipped their lattes, they couldn’t help but overhear a heated discussion at the table next to them.

A man in his forties, dressed in a suit, was arguing with a younger guy who looked like a college student. “You can’t just dismiss thousands of years of tradition and belief. It’s not just about faith, it’s about history and culture!”

The younger guy shook his head. “But when that belief system starts to hurt people, isn’t it time to question it? Look at all the violence, the exclusion. Religion isn’t always the good guy here.”

Matt nudged Ryan and nodded toward the arguing pair. Ryan grinned. “See? It’s everywhere.”

Later, as they walked back to their cars, Chris broke the silence. “Okay, so religion can be dangerous. But so can a lot of things. Politics, money, power. What makes religion stand out?”

Ryan shrugged. “I think it’s the certainty. The unwavering belief that your way is the only way. It can blind people to reason, make them do things they’d never consider otherwise.”

Matt thought about his own experiences. He remembered his uncle, a devout man, who had cut ties with a cousin because she married someone of a different faith. He remembered awkward family gatherings where no one talked about it, but everyone knew. It had seemed so drastic, so unnecessary.

A few weeks later, they were hanging out at the park, kicking a soccer ball around. Matt brought up the topic again. “You know, I think I get it now. It’s not just the big stuff like wars. It’s the everyday things, too. Like my uncle refusing to speak to my cousin. It’s like a poison that seeps into everything.”

Chris nodded. “Yeah, but is the problem the religion itself or how people interpret it?”

“Probably both,” Matt said. “But it’s that rigid interpretation that causes the most harm.”

Ryan kicked the ball towards Matt. “Exactly. It’s like giving someone a loaded gun and telling them they have the moral high ground to use it however they see fit.”

As the sun set, they sat on the grass, talking about everything and nothing. The world was complicated, full of grey areas and contradictions. But one thing seemed clear: the most dangerous doctrine was the one that didn’t allow for questioning, for growth, for change.

Matt looked at his friends, grateful for their perspectives. “You know, these conversations? They’re what keep us from falling into that trap. We might not have all the answers, but at least we’re asking the right questions.”

Ryan smiled. “Here’s to always asking questions.”

And with that, they headed home, the weight of the world a little lighter, knowing that as long as they stayed curious and open-minded, they’d navigate the dangers of any doctrine, religious or otherwise, together.

humanity

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    ignatius awang braminiaWritten by ignatius awang braminia

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