A Difference of Religion

It’s said there are three things one should never talk about among mixed company: politics, religion and sex.  I’ve already discussed politics, and I’m about to break that rule a second time.

It’s not in my nature to be controversial; at least, not outwardly so.  I’m normally someone who tries to accept everyone and everything as perfect in their own right.  Not to say that I don’t have an opinion – I’m no uncarved block – but I see my opinion as simply that.  I don’t feel the need to tell anyone else how to live their life.  So I find that it bothers me when people try to force their beliefs onto others.

I’ve never condoned the idea of missionaries, or what they think they’re offering “savages” by bringing an organized religion in to overcome the “uncivilized” behavior that’s found there.  First off, who died and made the missionaries responsible for “saving” people who are quite happy in their own beliefs and modalities?  It’s like saying the natives are wrong and the converter is right.

This is something that’s bothered me for quite some time, so when I saw a t-shirt a few years ago that embodied my personal beliefs on religion, I had to order it:

I’ve seen several variations on this theme since, but they all point to one thing: acceptance of one another in our beliefs.  It also infers that there’s enough room on this planet of ours to accommodate all beliefs. That’s a concept that I can wholeheartedly give a big AMEN! to.

I personally don’t follow a religion now, but I was once a practicing Wiccan, and always liked the last line of the Wiccan Rede:

An it harm none, do what ye will

That phrase epitomizes how I feel about life and living it, and I often wonder why other people don’t feel that way too.  So many times I hear or see people talking (in person or on FB) about the “one true religion”.  And it’s not just people of Christian faiths; this concept of only one “right” belief is very powerful in several big religions.  Even some Atheists claim to be the “only ones” who know the “truth”.

There are an estimated seven billion people on this planet . . . SEVEN BILLION!  With so many different people, and so many different ways to do things, why would anyone believe that there is only ONE “correct” belief?  Your belief might be correct for you, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right one for your neighbor, or even your relatives.

There are thousands of different cheeses, ways to prepare them, and even ways to eat them.  You don’t hear anyone claiming that one particular cheese is right or wrong.  In fact, most people like more than one type of cheese (or other food item, if you’re lactose intolerant).  So why can’t people look upon religion like cheese?

Okay, I realize that comparison may seem a little silly, but the concept behind it is still valid. Just as the concept behind all the world’s religions are valid.

I once had an opportunity to temp at a non-profit organization called World Religion Day.  At least, I think that’s what it was called, but it’s been so many years ago, I could have the name wrong.  Regardless, all around the office, there were posters outlining the foundations of several major world religions.  I took the time to read these posters one day, and discovered that the basic foundation of all the religions highlighted there was the same; The Golden Rule.

So, if the foundation of all religions is to essentially treat others as you’d want to be treated yourself, why have there been countless, needless wars fought over which one is the best?  Do people simply get caught up in all the extraneous verbiage that surrounds the basic Golden Rule of their faith?  So many people in this world believe in some form of a higher power that rules the world and has a master plan for us all.  Why does it matter what name is given to this being?

I’m not here to try to change anyone’s opinion on religion, or to tell anyone that all religion is false; everyone needs to believe in something.  All I’m asking is that people be allowed to believe what they want.  ALL people.  If there were more acceptance of our differences – religious or otherwise – there wouldn’t be such a need to fight over who’s “right” or “wrong”.  Maybe we could even do away with those labels.  Imagine the possibilities!

There is no “right” or “wrong”, there’s just a difference of religion . . . and that’s okay with me.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cminichino
    Apr 01, 2012 @ 22:30:52

    Alyx — you mean you don’t picture a God who is up there saying, “Fight it out, people. I love a good war.”

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Apr 02, 2012 @ 05:09:45

      Absolutely correct, Camille. If there is a God, I sincerely doubt that s/he’s concerned how we worship. I think God would want us to follow the Golden Rule more closely than that.

      Thanks for stopping by! :o)

      Reply

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