Going through my Facebook feeds today, something caught my eye. It was a link to a webpage called I hate Jesus and the person who had added the link had actually commented on the page that the page is disgusting, how can you, etc. And it made me wonder why we cannot accept people for who they are. Why did the person who made the page actually make it? His or her argument is that people who believe in Jesus are fools. Now, I do not agree with this page. It goes against my personal beliefs but my personal beliefs are just that: personal!
Which leads me to the enraged woman who posted a long comment about how horrible the page is and that if she gets enough likes for her comment, it must mean that no one wants the page and the page creator should close the page. Now religious intolerance in ANY form is unacceptable to me. I personally may hold different beliefs to other religions and indeed the non religions (although in my opinion non religion is in fact its own form of ‘religion‘ – but that’s off the topic :)) but that does not give me the right to shout down other religions, whatever they may be. Reading the comments for and against this particular site, I noticed how horrible and nasty people start to get to each other, cutting each other down for holding a specific view and shouting about who is right and who is wrong. So who IS right and who IS wrong? Well, in these instances, everyone is wrong because judging a person for being religious really goes against the non-religious ‘belief‘ of making ones own choices because surely it is a choice to have religion in one’s life just as it is a choice not to and judging someone for choosing not to be religious really goes against the main teachings of just about any religion which is UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE of everyone.
The point I am trying to make is that it would be better to accept religious differences and move on. After all it is our differences, not only in religion but in many ways, that make us unique, that gives us that individuality.
And, on top of it, people of varying religious beliefs (including non-religious people) should really stop for a minute and think about the effect of their intolerance on others. In particular, this made me think of a friend who lost a young child a year ago and has recently had a remembrance day for the little girl. She firmly believes that her daughter is looking down on her from heaven. Would it be right then, for a non-religious person to remark to her that God or Jesus doesn’t exist? Because such a statement would ultimately be telling her that her little girl is not in heaven looking down on her, happy and smiling and that she won’t see her again one day. Is it really fair to hurt a person in such a way? You don’t have to do it intentionally but we can never know what others are going through and sometimes shouting things out without much thought can hurt more than you know.
I know religious intolerance will always exist. I’m not naive (Okay, sometime I am). It is what has fueled many wars, driven people to commit insane acts of cruelty to others and it has enslaved nations. I only hope that individuals can come to understand that it is not religion that causes problems but the inability to accept others for who and what they are that does and then, maybe, acceptance will prevail.
Anyway, I live in hope, as always…
PS: This piece of writing has not intended to leave out or include any particular religion, it is about religious intolerance generally and could be applied to any number of religious bases. If you think it is an attack on religion or non-religion, please reread it because you OBVIOUSLY missed the point 🙂
Copyright © 171012 by Karen Payze