I agree, which may sound surprising but it shouldn't.
Religion brings guilt and a heavy load. Religion points out our flaws but never offers any help in fixing them. It is a hard graft to be a religious person, a life often marked by self-control and piety but not joy and pleasure. If it doesn't make a man miserable it'll make him proud and self-righteous. Religion divides and separates, and it creates hierarchies and racism. It tells me that one particular type of person is better than another, that one particular gender is superior or that one particular race more elite. If you're on the team then you're proud (at best) or a self-righteous bigot at worst. Religion is great at appealing to that part of us that wants to be better, wants to become nicer and wants to feel justified. Religion is good for giving people a safety net at the grave, a 'hedge your bets' option that promises peace of mind to the dying based on good deeds and moral behaviour; but what use is a safety net of straw and a sense of peace if it's based on a lie?
That's a little strong isn't it...
Jesus spared some of his harshest words for the religious types, he seemed to agree with modern minds - religion is the problem. Don't feel you have to apologise for disliking religion, Jesus didn't like it either.
Then again, it depends what you dislike about religion and why you dislike it. Do you dislike the illusion it gives people, the divisions it causes and the intolerance it creates? Or are you simply trying to avoid staring some difficult questions in the eye? Don't let your dislike of arrogant and pompous religious folk, whether churchy types or muslims or anything else for that matter, stop you from wondering about life.
What of Jesus? What did he say? What did he mean?
For the first few centuries of its existence people didn't call Christianity a religion; it was call a sect, 'The Way', or even a movement but not a religion. Jesus was killed by the Romans because he set himself up against Caesar, declaring that he was Lord and King. Jesus is unique among the world's religious leaders in this sense. He said that he alone could save, that he alone could restore and that he alone could bring the full life that we all crave so much.
Was he right?
I met Jesus before I met religion and for this I am forever grateful to God. Humble yourself enough to ask, to ponder and to search - what could be more important?
Thanks for reading.
Let me know your thoughts, they count!