We all have our own beliefs or non-beliefs when it comes to things like religion and spirituality. I don't think any two people can have the exact same beliefs as another person. Maybe that's why it's so difficult for so many people to respect the religions, beliefs, and faith of others. Personally, I know exactly what I believe. At the same time, I am more than willing to learn about what other people believe. I'm quickly starting to realize that I fall into the minority when it comes to things like this though.
People just seem so closed off to anything different from what they hold as true. I'm taking a World Religions class at school. Today we began disscussing chapter one in the book and I immediately saw how negatively some people responded to religions different from their own. I can kind of respect people for wanting to defend their faith. I don't however like or agree with trying to make your religion seem superior to all others. Who or what gives someone the right to deny all other beliefs as false just because they deviate from their own ideas.
To me, it seems like the second someone has to bash or put down another form of spirituality, it just shows a crack in their own faith. It's as if they're saying "I can't prove my religion is better than yours, so I'm going to belittle your faith and make mine seem superior." If people would take a closer look, they would see the underlying common thread that most religions in the world today seem to share. Some people pray to Allah, others pray to God. Some find spirituality in a Bible, and some find it in nature. But ultimately we're all putting our faith into something that is beyond ourself. So who's to say that we're not all praying to the same divine power, just incarnated into different forms across different borders?
I have a feeling that statement alone will anger a lot of people. But think about it, Agnosticism gets a lot of flack from religious groups. However, how many of us can say that we understand our divine being, whether it be God or something else, completely? If anyone said they understood God completely, I'd call them a liar. Isn't that the point of God? He's incomprehendable, above us all, the beginning and the end, He's everywhere and nowhere at the same time. What mere mortal could even begin to fathom that sort of power?
Even though we can't understand it, we can respect and fear it. What makes us respect this enormous, unseen thing or being, but we can't respect eachother's religions? People are so hypocritical, it drives me mad. The Bible says "love thy neighbor" yet there are religious wars being raged at this very moment. I just wish everyone could practice their faith or lack of faith freely, without the fear of being judged or even killed for what they believe.
Religion, faith, and spirituality give most people a sense of calm. A feeling of unconditional love and grace. It can also be the spark of hatred and division amongst people. The world is a tough enough place without throwing religion into the middle of everything. I just wish that one day people will be able to accept the fact that not everyone is going to believe exactly like they do. So instead of fighting a losing battle, why not put down our arms, and perk up our ears. Learn about other faiths and people. You never know what you'll discover.
My challenge to you: Do a little research on a religion you don't know much about. Im sure you'll find something interesting. Perhaps you'll even find similarities to your own beliefs.
Lindsey. Twenty-Five. Currently pursuing a degree in Professional Writing & Film Studies.