From cultures to basic opinions, people can be widely different from each other. They have different beliefs based on their own set of values. And religions just take it to a whole new level.
Here are 17 misconceptions you need to stop believing.
1. Hindus Don’t Worship Cows All the Time
Not all Hindus worship cows since it’s only one of the many animals considered sacred in the religion. In Hinduism, the cow is considered a non-violent animal that symbolizes life. It’s also one of the reasons why many Hindus choose not to eat beef and live as vegan.
2. Hindus Don’t Have a Million Gods, Only One
Hinduism is a very interesting religion where you can come across different Gods. While it seems like they have many Gods, they only have one. The catch is that this God comes in a variety of forms. Hindus view God as one entity with different roles to fill.
3. Atheism Is a Religion
Atheism is not a religion, but it refers to the absence of belief in Gods and deities. It is your stance not to be involved in the beliefs, rituals, and practices of any religion.
Similar to religions, though there are also different forms of Atheism, including naturalists, skeptics, and secular humans. Each of these forms follows its principles and perspectives.
4. Not All Buddhist Converts Are Vegetarians
Converting to Buddhism does not mean you have to go vegetarian. While it’s highly encouraged, it’s not a requirement. In fact, many Buddhists eat meat.
Buddhism advocates for compassion for all sentient beings, including animals. If some Buddhists choose to go vegetarian, it is a combination of an interpretation of this advocacy and their dietary choice. It is not a strict universal requirement in the religion, though.
5. All the Wrong Interpretations of the Bible
The Bible has always been open to interpretation; many of them are as flawed as they come.
Understand the context of the scripture based on the time period the books were written (Babylonian Empire, Roman Empire) and who they were meant for (Jews, Gentiles, people in captivity in Babylon vs. Rome). That’s the key.
6. Sikhs Are Not Muslims
Sikhs practice Sikhism, while Muslims practice Islam. Sikhism practices an all-encompassing religion where all human beings are equal and believe in one divine being. Islam, on the other hand, follows the revelation of the Quran and highlights the need to submit to Allah.
Sikhs and Muslims even dress differently if you can spot it right. Turban or “dastaar” is a central part of a Sikh man’s attire, while Muslim men do not typically wear one. Muslim men do wear a prayer cap or “sikke” during daily prayer, though.
7. Jews Do Not Drink the Blood of Christian Children
Some believe that Jews drink the blood of Christian children in a ritual, which is baseless and anti-Semitic.
This smear campaign against the Jews started in the Middle Ages. It also is known as “blood libel,” and it persists today because of some people’s ignorance and prejudice against the Jews.
8. Jewish Cemeteries Discriminate on Tattooed Bodies
There’s no rule in the Jewish religion that tattooed bodies cannot be buried in their cemeteries. While this is true, some Jewish cemeteries are biased in their perception of tattooed bodies.
Technically, not getting buried in Jewish cemeteries when you have a tattoo is not a religious rule but a societal rule.
9. Everybody Thinks the Same in Your Religion
Not everyone who belongs to one religion thinks similarly. Some may take a different approach to showing their faith, and others may do so in a more conventional way.
Religion is different from a cult. It is your unique, personal relationship with God.
10. Atheists Care About Your Beliefs
Atheists do not exist just to dismiss your religion and beliefs. They don’t care about your beliefs and don’t want to be affected by them in any way, but if you’re fighting for what you believe in, so do atheists. It just so happens that they don’t believe in God.
11. Religious People Don’t Believe in Science
Believing in God does not automatically mean not believing in science. These two can co-exist with each other.
One great example is Galileo, who was a Catholic scientist. He believes in God and, at the same time, believes that science plays a role in how God created the world. If gravity is just a little bit stronger or weaker than what it is, the world would never exist. God made the world self-sustaining with meticulous mechanisms that can help humanity survive.
12. Sharia Law Is Not Man-Made
Sharia Law refers to the guidelines for Muslims grounded in the Islamic moral code and religious law based on the teachings from the Quran. It is somehow man-made in a way that it depends on the perspective of the country you’re in. It is not the same in all Islamic countries, but it is considered and integrated in their laws.
The key to understanding Sharia Law is interpretation, and from there, methodologies and rulings are made.
13. Agnostics Are Lazy and Cowards
Being an agnostic is not a matter of fear or laziness when dealing with theology. For agnostics, they believe that no one can be certain about the existence of God or any divine being. Their stance is grounded on skepticism and uncertainties.
Many people hate agnostics and force them to make a choice favorable to them, depending on what they believe in. Atheists want agnostics to say that God does not exist, while people practicing religions want them to say otherwise.
14. Catholics Are Extremely Conservative
Catholics have always been regarded as extremely conservative, especially when it comes to three issues – gender, pregnancy, and science.
Many believe that Catholics discriminate against gays, but the Vatican believes that everyone can go to heaven as long as they are good (gay and non-believers alike). When it comes to pregnancy, they were regarded as obsessed with pregnancy, but Catholics remain firm in their belief that pregnancy is a responsibility. For science, Catholics believe that science plays a big role in the discovery of many mysteries in the world.
15. All Buddhism Is the Same Wherever You Are
Buddhism differs depending on your location. A Buddhist household in Korea may follow different rules and ideologies than one in Thailand. Differences in concepts of reincarnation and views on a vegetarian diet are only two of the issues that may differ.
16. Good People Go to Heaven and Bad People Go to Hell
Evangelically speaking, this simply means that your actions will be judged after you’re saved. The default set is hell or eternal separation from God, but if you do good things, then salvation is within reach. No, God doesn’t have a naughty list, but it doesn’t mean you don’t need to be good.
17. We Can’t Eat Meat or Cut Our Hair
Sikhism is a beautiful and peaceful religion often mistaken to be a mixture of Hinduism and Islam. Many also think that Sikhs do not eat meat or cut their hair, but they do. The entire religion of Sikhs is based on tolerance and preservation of dignity, a wonderful notion.
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MSN Writer, Radical FIRE
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Experience: Marisa Bolivar is a content writer with 10 years of experience in creating blogs and articles across different industries on the web. She has explored many niches in her years working as a content specialist with her favorite zeroing on entertainment, from books to movies and TV shows. Marisa is also a bookworm, who has a fondness for personal improvement and philosophical authors like Paulo Coelho and Mitch Albom.