Unconditional Acceptance


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

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10 Comments

  1. I’m very much an atheist, and find it utterly bizarre that people can genuinely believe that there is a God…

    But if someone wants to believe in it, and they keep it as a personal thing then that’s fair enough. If your friend finds comfort in believing that her daughter is in heaven, then I don’t have a problem with that.

    The problem starts when it moves beyond the personal, and into the world at large. Look at the power and influence of the Catholic Church, for example. I didn’t look at the webpage you mention, but I wonder if the person who set it up lives in the US, in an area where religion is a big thing that dominates the local education and political scene.

    • I understand your point and accept it 😀 Have a lovely day

  2. Karen, I couldn’t agree with you more. But, man has this – thing – about wanting to have everyone believe as he (or she) does, and argue about it, if that doesn’t happen. Much blood has been shed on the subject, and with no good end. I myself am in the process of converting to Catholicism, and I can tell you, the Catholics are just as bull-headed on the subject – as are the other various religions here in the states…

    • Ha ha I know all about us Catholics 🙂 BTW your link back on your page says Karen Payne not Payze hehe so I haven’t approved the link back yet but will do so as soon as you have changed it 🙂 and thanks 😀

      • crap…me and my fat fingers 🙂 Okay, all done.
        Well, it’s not to say that Catholics aren’t justified in their belief that the Church is the one true church. Jesus did, after all, form it. But they do take it a bit far, don’t you think?

        • Absolutely. I actually left the church for several years because I could not understand their intolerances but coming back to the church as an adult, I have come to realise that I can be part of the church, and still have my own view point on things. As they say: Change the things you can change, accept the things you can’t!

          • True. My wife is a lifelong Catholic, and wanted me to try it. She found it difficult to attend other churches (I’m Presbyterian), since they don’t have the same amount of deference and respect in their services. I gave it a shot, and loved it immediately. While I don’t agree that anyone who attends a church other than Catholic is more of a sinner and misled, I can recognize that preference (linking back to your article) is a matter of choice, and one can be a Christian no matter what religion he or she chooses.

  3. Hi, Karen. Interesting post. I think what appears to be religious intolerance (re: Christians) is partly a result of the fact that a page which touts contempt for Jesus Christ is allowed under the standard of free speech; however, the same page, with any other religion as the subject, would be removed. Christians are feeling bullied (and IMO, we are bullied), and some will react with outrage. I wonder if the people who created this page, who seek to provoke this kind of pain in others, simply have nothing better to do.

    That said, Christians who react with rage need to reread the Word. God already told all of us that this would happen, and He also told us how to handle it. 🙂

    • Agreed, tolerance from a Christian point of view (in fact from many religious points of view ranging from Christianity to Judaism to Islam to Buddhism) should be a given as this is part of the fundamentals of many religions. It is a pity that many religious people, however, choose to be intolerant of others. And, as I pointed out in my article, any non religious person should also practice tolerance considering that many of them proclaim such things as their freedom to choose as part of their fundamental rights. Why then, should they be intolerant of those who choose to believe. I do believe this debate will continue for eternity! Thanks for your comment 🙂

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  1. My pal Karen Payze, with an excellent article on the pitfalls of religious intolerance…:) « Thomas Rydder

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