CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?
A recent conversation from Facebook.
R: Speaking of freedom, I saw something recently that I liked regarding Religious Freedom: “The problem is not what you believe. The problem is what you think I should believe.” I wish everyone would take this to heart.
Me: I agree, R. But, does that mean we cannot share our ideas and differences? If one person believes all choices will work out in the end, but another believes with all his heart that some choices reap disaster, wouldn’t it be kinda wrong to not at least share the idea?
R: In my view, what’s important is that we respect the beliefs of everyone, and consider their beliefs as important and as valid as our own. (Obviously excluding murderers, hatemongers, and others of that ilk.)
Me: Good thing, respect. If you saw someone in danger, but it would disrupt their life for you to point it out, what do you do?
R: If you’re talking about a danger that is clear and present to everyone, something everyone can see, like an out of control car hurtling toward someone, of course one should warn them. If you’re talking about a belief system that you believe in, but not everyone else believes in, then no, that sort of intrusion is inappropriate, in my opinion.
Me: So, would you say, in your opinion, that religion is okay if it seems to satisfy a need you have, but, different strokes for different folks? It doesn’t really matter which one as long as you think it works?
R: Again, in my view, what’s important is that we respect the beliefs of everyone, and consider their beliefs as important and as valid as our own. (Obviously excluding murderers, hatemongers, and others of that ilk.)
Me: Okay. One thing I just thought about. Is there any other area of life you would apply that principle?
R: (two days later, no reply)
I’ve been thinking about this exchange, and about ones I have had with others. I have a hypothesis. An hypothesis? Never mind. I have a theory.
I have a niece that, years ago, decided that the God she had been taught about from childhood couldn’t be trusted. So, she sought her own path, her own cures, her own philosophy.
I have to say, she has found something she believes in. I, personally, can’t understand a third of it, but we have some great exchanges, sharing ideas with each other. She believes in something, and it has changed her. She thinks it will help others, so she shares.
Another friend, believes in a lot of the teachings of Jesus, says, “Jesus is my favorite guru.” He comes from a Hindu background, loves the “beauty” of the Hindu teachings. He doesn’t believe Jesus is divine, unless it is through his own goodness, not because he is God. He also doesn’t believe in the resurrection story. But, he honestly tries to be kind and loving in all he does, because he believes in the things he says. I didn’t know him before, but I would imagine that his beliefs changed him.
A shooter in Orlando appeared to most of his neighbors to be a real nice guy. He had beliefs, strong beliefs that changed him.
I looked back on some of the conversations my friend, R had, and he feels quite strongly about certain political leanings. He doesn’t accept the other arguments from the opposing side.
The Theory : A belief in something will drive your life. Opinions mean a little, but if you believe, you will live in accordance to that belief.
Conclusion: I believe that if you have The Son (Jesus), you have life. If you do not have the Son of God, you do not have life.
If, to you, any beliefs are fine, as long as they don’t interfere with you, maybe you don’t have any beliefs.
I love a lively, thoughtful exchange of ideas. I am not afraid of difficult questions; I enjoy having my boundaries pushed by thinking people.