Because Religious People are Stupid, Right? 

Growing up, I was not raised in an overly religious family. I attended the local Catholic primary school and mass each week with my class, but outside of the big celebrations like Christmas and Easter, I was never forced to attend church or participate in mass with my family. As I grew older it became my choice as to what faith or religion I wanted to follow, and as such, I never had one particular doctrine, idea or belief imposed on me – I was allowed to be myself with this… I was allowed to explore.

I explored various and different belief systems and practices, from Buddhism to Christianity and everything outside and in-between, finding elements that touched me and discarding those that caused disharmony. For the first 16 – 17 years of my life my fascination with religion was strong, and of those who I thought were truly religious I was inspired by; they however, were not many and were far and few along. 

As I grew older and started to engage more critically and mentally with the world, I began to see more and more the devastations caused by the major religions, and as my anger and unsettlement grew, my vision of religion, and religious people, turned too. In my eyes, and in the eyes of my friends, if someone said they were religious, it was like asking for a social and professional death. Admitting that one was religious meant your intelligence dropped by about 80% – “Why?” you might ask, “Because religious people are stupid, right?”

How could an intelligent person follow something that quoted one thing, yet did the other. How could one listen to a preacher teach about love and understanding, yet he or she themselves be prepared to profit off and exploit not only its people but those who did not fit into its picture? 

You see, we are sold this notion that being religious means forgoing critical thinking or leaving ourselves and our discernment at the door and following something blindly… but what if this is not a description of true religion? What if it is but the by-product of a peddler and their peddlers?

When it comes to religion, our current culture has bought into what I can only call ‘masterful trickery’, with many having a willingness to be tricked. Being religious, truly religious, is in fact quite beautiful and despite my previous belief systems about one’s intelligence, religion – when understood in its true and simplest form – is founded on a science that is far more intelligent than anything mankind has been able to live or deliver thus far and certainly is not something found in an ivory tower, in a book, or looking afar.

For me, when I look around at the trees, at the rivers, at the sun, at the moon, at the seas, at the birds and all of the animals in this kingdom, what gets reflected back to me is an intricate and finite system that is beyond anything modern science has been able to fully explain, answer, master or understand. There are cycles that the day passes through, the sun rises, the sun falls, and there are rituals that all on this earth live and breathe by, not only with waking and sleeping, but in the passing of the seasons and the changes in the weather. What we don’t understand is that in all of this is religion – a deep connection and relationship between everything and everyone, one that we can either choose to listen and adhere to, or ride up against in fury at all that it communicates for what is there to be done.

What is most beautiful is that no matter how hard we fight, deep inside of our bodies, and I mean purely scientifically speaking here, we are made up of this intelligence and as such, we are part of the body of God, whether we like it or not.

If I asked, for example, do you know how to build a baby from scratch, you might say sure, it’s from a sperm and an egg, you simply bring the two together and the rest is taken care of. But what I would ask is, do you know the mechanics of it? Do you know how each piece and part of the body is formed, how the different bits start in one position then wrap around to form another? Do you know how the brain knows when and how to grow before it is even grown or how the cells know how many fingers and toes are needed? There is an invisible blueprint in place that is well beyond our current science and such, our current intelligence.

So who then is the stupid one?

And the answer to that is no ‘one’. For the thing is, and if we stick with the same example, we all know how a baby is formed, right down to the detail; this intelligence can be found deep down in our cells, our bodies know exactly how to do it, even if we don’t. The only crime is that we have chosen and thus forgotten how to connect to it, but it doesn’t mean it’s not there. This alone shows that there is an intelligence beyond what we think or know, or more importantly, believe.

By Martin Gladman, Counsellor, Social Worker & Practitioner of Universal Medicine Therapies, Melbourne, Australia

Related Reading:
Intelligence Alone is Not Enough
My Body and the Body of God
Waiting for God…

436 thoughts on “Because Religious People are Stupid, Right? 

  1. Thank you Martin. I was speaking with a man who told me he was religious (Muslim) on the weekend. He was quick to tell me that he is not a practicing Muslim which I now see is an attempt to distance himself from his religion lest he be silently labelled stupid. I am so much more accepting of other religious beliefs now because I don’t see anyone as ‘stupid’. Instead I feel people’s sensitivity, love and true essence. We all know what is true, if we want true religion it’s just a choice away.

  2. Its great to have this title written, as it is what many of us believe. Sheep-like faith in something that doesn’t make sense really doesn’t inspire confidence! What I have found is that there is a huge difference between natural religion, the one all little kids know and live and the religion we men have made to suit our various agendas. This is what needs to be questioned, not the truth of divinity and our connection with it.

  3. I used to think religious people were narrow minded, that their version reality was blinked, so yes some people may call that stupid? The blinkered view of life is restricted and has limits, this has got something to do beliefs rather than universal knowing and wisdom. I have found that the more I am connected with God the more wise and universal I have become, this is through a relationship with my body and being open to feeling energy, I would say the more religious I have got the more wise I have naturally become. So not beliefs but from a lived way, open minded for sure!

  4. It is interesting how society offers two main ideas about religion, either stuck in a belief that many others can not be part of or that those who are following a religion are not intelligent. It attempts to corrupt what is ‘beautiful’. We all have a physical experience and relationship with God / of God that cannot be taken away, manipulated or withheld by anyone else. A relationship with our body is where wisdom and truth lie, the stillness felt there is with God. Nothing complicated, or for the few special ones, for all equally.

  5. One of the difficulties people have with the man made religions such as Buddhism, Jewish, Christianity and so on is that it’s based on one giving their power away to ” the unknown ” ” the unseen ” ” the all powerful “. And as children, this is presented to children by the adults. These adults are our parents and family adults, who are our protectors so we trust them, and this cycle has been going on since the first person gave their power away for what ever reason; normally people give their power away because they do not want to take responsibility for their choices and consequences. So it was, is easy, to blame the ” unknown ” and ” unseen”. So it’s not really the leaders of religions that are responsible, but they do contribute, it’s the masses of people who do not want to take personal responsibility for themselves.
    Presenting true religion as you have Martin will allow the possibility of truth thank you.

  6. If our cells know how to form a baby, surely this is an indication of the whole body intelligence which is available to us all, and is but a choice away. Thank you Martin for highlighting so clearly this fact… this is something I will remember when I am feeling unclear about something.

  7. thank you Martin – that is so true. No one is the stupid one. We can only simply deny what we allready have been given and truly know from inside out. The walk away from our knowingness – might possibly be the only ‘stupid’ thing, if stupidity does exist.

  8. ‘Admitting that one was religious meant your intelligence dropped by about 80%’ … so true and I remember feeling that about anyone who would announce this. Yet, finding God inside and developing a relationship with him is simply the most important thing you can do – its a rich, deep and gorgeous space that exists in all of us, that cannot be equalled, and is ready to be tapped in to anytime we choose.

  9. This line makes me understand God more “What is most beautiful is that no matter how hard we fight, deep inside of our bodies, and I mean purely scientifically speaking here, we are made up of this intelligence and as such, we are part of the body of God”
    Sometimes I have a problem relating to “God” but my body always knows the truth.

  10. Thank you Martin for sharing true religion in nature and the divine intelligence that makes up the human body, connecting to the love that resides in every particle is connecting to the majesty of feeling God within.

  11. Being religious as you have mentioned here Martin, is natural for us all even if with all the forces around us that we buy into in order to live totally the opposite to that simplicity and awe of being in connection of the all we can still make a choice that is true for our soul.

  12. As a child I was curious about various religions but none of them stuck as they all fell short of the mark in some way. But I knew there was more – I found it impossible to look at the stars and not feel the grandness of life.

  13. Following blindly and believing others in the name of religion, I would suggest is not religion. Religion is a rebinding and reconnection it is a way of being not a doing. It reconnects us with God, universal wisdom is for all, not the special few.

  14. Engaging mentally with the world will never provide true answers or even true questions. A ‘critical’ engagement, on the other hand, is more than anything else a testament of the quality of un/settlement in the body of the one producing it.

  15. So many carry hurts from being burnt by so-called ‘religion’, resulting in many erroneously concluding that to be religious must be unintelligent. Yet perhaps it is intelligent to consider that what we have been hurt by has not been religion at all but instead a false impostor…

  16. There is definitely a stupidity that comes from blindly following – we need to use our discernment, develop our sensitivity and deepen our understanding. These are all very real, practical skills and from them comes a very deep knowing…

  17. I remember years ago being told by someone that she considered ‘religion as an anecdote against spirituality’, and what I understood then in what she shared that religions as most of us know them now cut us off from God and from ourselves, from our true connection. Since then I’ve learnt and come to understand more about religion and that in fact I am deeply religious (back then I would deeply scoffed at anyone who said that), and in that I feel the enormous grace and power I am, we all are and how we’re part of something so magnificent and grand and I do feel that part of my own previous fight and I suspect many others with regards to religion is that deep within we know what true religion is and we know how we currently see religion in the world is not it and we react and actually we use this as an excuse to not explore our own deep religiosity. For as I write today I can feel how deeply religious I am and I feel the call to a deeper expression of that in my life and how there’s a greater surrender asked for as you say and I feel religion is in fact … ‘a deep connection and relationship between everything and everyone, one that we can either choose to listen and adhere to, or ride up against in fury at all that it communicates for what is there to be done.’ … and if we truly feel this we understand there is no delay and a purpose in use being here and much to be done and this is what religion in that deep connection with all and everyone communicates to us. The word that comes up for me in this is obedience .. how willing am I to be obedient to the pulse of God, of the Universe to honour that deep religiosity I hold, that we all hold and can connect to and live any time.

  18. Martin, I used to think that religion and science, religion and intelligence did not go together, yet the more I understand true religion the more I realise the greatest wisdom actually comes from our bodies and our connection to our soul and therefore from our religion.

  19. Wow. It’s been a while since I read this and this time it felt wonderful to feel how differently I see religion. True religion does not ask us to believe blindly. Instead we are supported to connect, accept and allow the great love we are to be expressed in full.

  20. The understanding of every mechanism of life is unreachable to our human mind. Only from a science that embraces God, which is God embracing science, we can truly embrace ourselves in deep understanding of the whole.

  21. Very beautiful Martin, ‘Deep inside of our bodies, and I mean purely scientifically speaking here, we are made up of this intelligence and as such, we are part of the body of God, whether we like it or not.’ A powerful reminder of our connection to divinity, when we deny this truth we complicate life and make it all about ‘me’, when we live this truth life becomes more simple and we feel part of the Oneness we are all truly from.

  22. This highlights how intelligent our bodies are and how much there is to appreciate and how we tend to separate ourselves from this and create another form of intelligence which is far more mental.

  23. This really goes to show how it is the institutionalized religions that have given the word ‘religion’ such a bad name. That deep connection and relationship between everything and everyone cannot be denied and will never go away as that is the very make-up of our beingness.

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