I see a lot of stuff posted on social media about what’s wrong with the doctrines or teachings of various religions and how those tenets contribute to the harmful actions of their followers. But there is very little thought given after that to what religions should be teaching through their doctrines.
Many religions teach hate, often wrapped in words which try to masquerade as love. So how would a religion actually teach love? How can a religion teach its followers to love unconditionally?
Many religions teach cultural division, especially an “us versus them” approach to people outside the faith. So how would a religion actually teach that its doctrines are important but do not set followers apart from everyone else? How can a religion encourage its followers on a beneficial path without teaching them to look down on other paths?
At the root of the issue, I think, is that many religions teach that humanity is flawed and damaged and horrible, that without something to pull us up and save us we would be doomed. So how would a religion actually teach the innate value of humanity?
The answer is that it can, easily, but then it won’t fit the mold of religion. The West, especially, has become very attached to the beliefs which tell us that we can be elevated and saved and redeemed through religion, and maybe it’s because our culture teaches us to feel worthless and not good enough.
I think what we need is a religious tradition which teaches us that our basic humanity is beautiful and powerful and that a great deal is gained by efforts to hone ourselves, not change what we are.