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."