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The religions of man are many. The various methods of expressing worship of the Deity are almost too many to count. As with all religions, there are two basic methods all religions use to recruit their members: coercion and inspiration.

Coercion takes many forms and methods and are all based on the lack of choice. Instilling the moral teachings of a religion in a child is not a bad thing and can be considered a mild form of coercion. That being said, a child does not have the learning or reasoning capacity to make such choices. A more intense form is to browbeat one emotionally and/or intellectually into believing as another. The worst method is the choice of either convert or die.

Inspiration by example is a much better way to obtain believers. But who is counting? Just because one method of worship has a billion followers and another having only ten followers does not put one of those religions over the other.

Once a person becomes truly self-aware, their spiritual quest may lead them to stay with what they know, or lead them through many different religions before they find their spiritual peace. The most important point is each person be allowed to make this journey for their own benefit.

This has been said many times before in many ways, "If your religion leads to hate others, you're in the wrong religion." Those who forcefully exclude others who do not believe in the same way actually hurt themselves, because it is by exposure to other beliefs and pools of knowledge we might come to a better understanding or modification of our own beliefs.

And just so I am perfectly clear, I see coercion of others in Christian, Muslim and most other religions as well. I am disgusted with people who use religion as a weapon. Religion and the love of Deity is supposed to be a unification of Mankind, not a violent separator. I am not naive, I know more people have died in the enforcement of one religion upon another than from any other cause. This enforcement of religion gave us that wonderful phrase, Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius. "Kill them. For the Lord knows those that are His own."

When I mean "unification," I mean that all should worship the Deity as they see Him, or Her, or Them. That they worship is much more important as how they do so.

Forcing all of Mankind into one religion would be like everyone having the same make and model of automobile. Imagine how well things would work if every person of legal driving age was given a Smart Car and only a Smart Car. You know, the two-seat car that's not too much bigger than a roller skate? While this would work fine for young, single people, or those who only transport themselves inside the city where they live, what about the couple that has five children? Or those who haul cargo long distances? Or the traveling workman who must carry his tools and materials long distances? This variety of transportation needs is why we have Smart Cars, Minivans, Tractor-Trailers and vans of all shapes and sizes. One type of car is not good for most people throughout the span of their life. Why should a much more important aspect of a persons life, their religion, be any less flexible? Would it not be better for a person to visit, observe, learn about and try other ways of worshiping Deity so they find what suits them?

I have many people in my life who do not worship as I do. And you know what? I am glad they worship as they see fit. My personal agreement for or against their religion is totally irrelevant. If I see friend A try to force their religious beliefs on friend B, who believes differently, I will step in and protect B from A. That goes equally as well of B were trying for force A, I would protect A from B.

Think about that. Think about what I have said before you start saying, "My God, the God of Love and Peace tells me to hate and destroy those who do not believe as I do!"