When I came back to the USA, I found a few posters on mom's refrigerator. Three of them are about religion. "To each their own" I thought. After going to the fridge and shamelessly feast in our cold cuts for years, I stopped and decided to read them. One of them said "whenever you are feeling down, read this biblical passage." That one made sense to me; I am English major. It is only logical for me to support the act of reading whenever one's got the blues. The other one bother me a little. The second one was a poem called "What Will The Prayer Be?"
The beginning is a bit weird for me. It starts with the speaker admitting that he doesn't know why he is praying. To pray means to address a solemn request or expression of thanks to a deity or other object of worship. So how can you not know why you are praying? The only logical explanation is you being so far away from your reality that you are not mindful of your life anymore. If that's the case, then perhaps religion is not the answer. Things like meditation will help you. Better yet? Therapy with an actual licensed doctor. It doesn't stop there. In addition, the poem continues by saying "I came to pray/to be alone with you/because you told me to/because they told me to." First, let's get something clear. Speaking to God is praying. Getting answers from God is schizophrenia.
Second of all, this is my concern with religion: it puts some restrictions as to how you think you should behave. For many people, free will is to believe that humans can act upon their own actions and to reject the idea that human actions are determined by external conditions or fate. The reason I have issues dealing with religion is because it seems as if God's will, as presented by the speaker, interferes with our free will. He is praying because he was told to do so. Somewhat of a red flag.
Last and definitely not least, the theme of moral compass. The last stanza of mom's fridge poem says "I like to do/to engage myself with people/but they say if I am not close to you/then what I do is worth nothing." Unfortunately, this is an argument that even my family uses on me. So let me explain what effect this has on people. This is one of the many influences that can nurture (or destroy) self esteem. I am sorry, God, but this is going to hurt a bit. The worth of my good deeds have nothing to do with how close I am to a deity I can't see. With no religion however that moral compass changes. I want them to consider whether their actions will increase and/or decrease someone's suffering. I don't want them to measure their morality based on the opinion of a figure not physically present. This is why I am not going to raise my kids with a specific religion. I will teach them how to be good decent people.