Thursday, February 21, 2013

Difference of Opinion



Religious Hatred
Song of the Bird by Anthony de Mello

A tourist says to his guide, "You have a right to be proud of your town.
I was especially impressed with the number of churches in it.
Surely people here must love the lord."

"Well," replied the cynical guide, "they may love the Lord,
but they sure as hell hate each other."

My father used to say it was the difference of opinion that made horse racing possible. I always liked the image. And often wondered why it was humans could not always solve their problems with a horse race or a flip of the coin or a chess game. Or just agree to not agree. Not agree is different than disagree as I found out during the recent political season. I was blown away with the hatred put into words in the Ether of social networks because people held different opinions. It became all about make wrong.

One of my best friends from clear back in the days of Hippies ended up somehow on the right side of the fence. She listens to Rush Limbaugh. I call myself a centralist but I have far right views too. But we both love movies of the same type, and Chinese food, and fabric shops and bead stores. We have shared almost 40 years of memories. We have far more similarities than differences. And there are even a couple political issues we agree on. For the rest we have just decided to not go there. Fortunately religion is not important to either of us. Because once you put religion into a belief system it seems to generate hatred.

Why? I can look at my friend's political beliefs and know she has listened to Fox New too much, and it does not matter to our friendship. But religions say their points of view are right because God said they were right and if you do not believe the same thing you are going to hell. Really? I see a lot of talking to God (generally asking for some favor like wealth), but God talking to people?  If She does (yes, She) everyone is too busy expounding their God Blessed view to listen.

A friend of mine and I were having a discussion of the Pope recently. He has been in the news of late. And as a former Catholic this friend figured I was ready to be converted to Christianity. (Note: both religions believe in Jesus Christ and ergo are both Christian.) The friend was questioning the belief that the Pope was the channel to the word of God. This is someone that quotes their pastor's sermons as the revealed truth.

I was good. I have found the button to press on my cell phone that makes it ring. "Excuse me I have to take this call from the Pope."


4 comments:

  1. An interesting blog Jacqui.

    Religion is something I won't discuss as I don't believe in it. My thoughts are; "each to their own."

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    1. The subject was really more hate and intolerance and puffed up egos that say they have the answer.

      And it is hard these days to get away from religion. It is everywhere and they expect you to take sides if you want to make a living in the community. I was more countering that religion is the path to peace.

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  2. Oh well you know how I just lurrrve a good 'religious' discussion!!!

    I believe in God, the Father almighty etc.. etc...' but never in a million years would I try to convert anyone even if they asked questions and showed an interest. Oh I will probably gently push them in what I see is possibly the right direction, but pressure them? No!

    Perhaps I am guilty of religious hatred. A friend who is extremely spiritual shared with me recently over the phone that she has become a Jehovah Witness. Now I know she is searching for something more. Anyway when she told me this I burst out laughing - you see how irreverent I am? She then giggled. I don't know if my next sentence was unkind but I said quick as a flash, 'I hear they're renovating St Anne's so I'll make sure there's a place for you". I should explain that St Anne's is the local 'mad house' in olden times called an asylum. It's the psychiatric hospital. It was a joke and she saw it as such but underlying was my intolerance of that particular persuasion. Maybe it's because i know more about it than I should, that they don't tell you the real story of what you can and cannot do until after you're baptized, how once in it's very hard to get out or the fact that they will refuse a blood transfusion even if it means that someone will die. I had a lovely friend who was a JW. She survived heart surgery in her early 40s only to die approximately 16 months later because she needed blood. She left a young family. Which God wants that? So yes, I am prejudiced and more so when it comes to so called Christians spouting trash and in doing so giving believers such as me, a bad name.

    The Pope is not the channel to God. He is supposedly God's rp here on earth and is only infallible on matters of doctrine - not the 'outside' world. The channel to God is one's own faith that is supposed to deepen the relationship.

    It's good to have friends who have different views and it's very 'grown up' to be able to know where to draw the line in differences of opinion.

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    1. I think I hate most (there is that intolerance) those that back their political views with God as being on their side. And it is their God. And there is one religion here that believes that even if the sinner converts they will be inferior. I hate that judgment. And I hate that they nit pick even against a different church of the same faith.

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