Thursday, June 30, 2011

Religion, sex and politics: Religion

Religion, sex and politics: Religion

The mighty ‘they’ always tell us there are three things one should never discuss at a dinner table. Religion, sex and politics. This caveat, of course, can be extended to other occasions, including a virtual friendship ring. Why? Because the debate leads to argument- how often does everyone achieve the same viewpoint on any of these three subjects...right?

Talk about it! BUT PREPARE TO LISTEN AS WELL AS SPEAK. If we remove the fear factor from a controversial subject we open ourselves to new ideas and we learn to respect another’s view.
Let us here discuss religion. You may not agree with me, but if you listen you might nod your head and grant me certain points...and come back with a few of your own. We may never agree, but we will respect each other’s ideas.

There are the big ones: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism. Lesser ones such as Scientology and Shintoism. And then there are a host of smaller cultural beliefs spread across all continents, which includes Shamanism, Wicca etc.
Looking at it dispassionately, what do all of these generally have in common? Some believe in one God, others in the multiple, so it’s not that. Some have elaborate ritual, others are simplified, so it’s not that either. Some demand constant worship, others leave it up to the individual, so it cannot be that.

Answer (in my opinion): each teaches to live a wholesome life, to respect others, to know love as one’s driving force.
In my view this common factor should be celebrated. How can it matter how you worship, where or when or even to whom? Why go to war, when both sides believe in the same ideals, simply calling it by a different name? Why are we blinkered?

Speak and listen...and live and let live.

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