Home Academy Throughout Human History, Religion is a Common Theme in Oppression

Throughout Human History, Religion is a Common Theme in Oppression


This opinion piece was produced by a student in the Madison365 Academy. It reflects the opinion of the author, not necessarily the opinion of Madison365, its staff, board of directors, sponsors or funders. To learn more or support our educational programs, visit madison365.org/academy.

I think religion is the root of oppression and it has been for a long time. It’s true that religions have been around since the start of human history and it has caused a good number of problems throughout history — but nobody ever seems to blame the concept of religion. Religion has been used to kill, enslave and oppress people for centuries, and even today lot of people put their faith in this manmade concept we call religion. Rule one of almost any religion is never ask question just trust in the words of our god.

The ancient Egyptians had one of the longest lasting civilizations of all time, and like many civilizations it was built on oppression of a group of people base on their difference. We all know the story of Moses and how he saved the Jews in Egypt and how they walked off into the sunset happy and free. No one takes the time to talk about how the Pharaoh was given almost all the powers of a god, how Egypt’s glory was built by slaves, and how the people are raised to blindly follow without question.

In Imperial times, European leaders used the image of white Jesus to get their people to follow them into the new worlds. They committed countless genocides against numerous civilizations,  all in the name of their god. This might have been the biggest damage religion cause because thanks to these imperial Europeans, many cultures have been lost to us and we won’t be able to get them back. Not only did they kill countless people around the world, this oppression continues to this day.

On 9-11 two planes were used to killed over 3,000 people in the name of Islam, and those same people are killing people almost everyday. They believe their faith is the right one and who ever doesn’t think so should be killed. Isis and Al Qaeda are some of the latest groups that use religion as reason to hurt people in the name of a god. Don’t get it wrong — there are many groups like them that do the same for other religions, like the KKK of America. What all those group have common is that they aren’t willing to respect the decisions of others.

Many people will disagree with me on this. They’ll say religions have saved a lot of people, created new culture and given people a purpose in life. Religions welcome anyone and were created for peace and to explain the meaning of life. That may be why they were created, but you have to remember they were created by other people. With me the biggest problem is that not all religions teach acceptance. In today’s world people are trying to be more accepting of others’ differences. A lot of groups today are focussed on destroying walls between groups like LGBTQ+. This group fights for people’s right to freely express themselves. Most religions, on the other hand, are stuck in the time period they were created and the rules of that time is what people try to live by. I think it’s wrong that people are expected to conform to the rules and norms of a point in time that has long passed. They also expect people to push down there personality and not follow their dreams just because those dreams go against their faith.

I’m not telling people to stop being religions but rather understand that because a religion may work for you it doesn’t mean it will work for someone else. As a teen I know the feeling of trying to talk to family about my beliefs. Like most teens I feared that they will not accept me for who I am. As a society we should be able to allow people to make decision and not fear persecution.