Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 03/25/2014

All Religions are Man Made

I had the pleasure of speaking with an 84 year old Albanian Korean War veternan on the bus this morning as I took my daughter to school. It might be a thing which is unique to New York but people often ask us where we are from when they hear us speaking–the fact that I usually speak to them in Italian while they respond in Spanish with allof us at times switching between English, Italian and Spanish makes us a confusing site to behold for anyone. Anyway, this older gentleman, who I have seen for months but always assumed was Latino, heard me speaking to my daughter in Italian and asked me where I was from. Thus began our twenty minute conversation in which I discovered he spoke 7 languages, went to school in Italy and was a Muslim. It was here that, rigght before I surprised him by reciting the first ayah of the Suratul Fatihah with him, that he let it be known that he thought that all religions were man made-an opinon to which I immediately assented and continued on with our conversation.

Only later did I take some time to reflect on this oft-heard maxim and ponder about what people are really trying to express when they say it. For years I assumed it was. Blanket rejection of religion and of a moral/ethical dimension to our existence but, the more I think about it, the more I have come to believe that it is simply a reaction (and a diplomatic one at that) against religious systems which ask for complete and total adherence to dogma withou room for individual expression and interpretation. What else could it truly mean? I suppose that it is possible that former believers in a cruel and jealous God could arrive at such an idea with some surprise but, be tha as it may, it seems that those who say this offer it as an olive branch and a bridge to others despite whatever their true beliefs may be.

My apologies for rambling on because I found myself finishing this ten hours after I started and well after I had lost the thread but I hope it is useful to t least pass the time if nothing else.


  1. Nice post, Mike.
    I hope you have the opportunity to develop and maintain your friendship with your elderly new friend.
    Kind regards,

  2. Nice post, Mike.
    I hope you have the opportunity to develop and maintain your friendship with your new elderly friend.
    Friendship is a precious gift.
    Kind regards,

    • Thanks Ben! Didn’t even know you knew about this blog. Thanks for stopping by. Be well!

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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.