You are right, often the malpractice of certain cultures (honour killing, female circumcision, forced marriages, gender inequality) are taken as a generalised reflection of the associated religion. However it is not always a misunderstanding from outsiders as often the perpetrators hide behind religion as an excuse which further distorts perception and spreads ignorance. My view however is a little idealistic as we cannot forget that cultures are borne from if not at least heavily influenced by the religions and rules that govern them so whilst religion may be distinct from a lot of these cultural practices, it is certainly not doing anything to prevent or stop them. It's just like a silent on looker being just as bad as the.bully who commits cruelty.
Religion, when used correctly should not be confused with culture but people manipulate it in order to justify their heinous behaviour. I'm talking about it in general and not specifically per say because of concourse certain religions may hold views or practices that are wrong in the eyes of certain societies but that is a matter concerned with religions having negative parts than with them being confused with.culture negatives.
I guess op, my advice to.you would be to see religion as your own relationship with faith, spirituality and god rather than consciously looking around at what people think of.you. if you are not manipulating religion with culture or commuting malice under religion then you ought not to feel bad. If however you want a change then work towards changing the.world's opinion of your religion and by extension, of.you.
Last edited by Cressida; 04-08-2012 at 02:50.