I have heard comments from some who have visited RJsCorner that seem to believe that I am anti-religious. This post will hopefully dispel that belief. Learning of things spiritual is a very fundamental part of what it means to be human. The primary method to accomplish to start this journey are religious establishments. They are the holder of the history of mankind in that context. In my grade school times I spent seven years being taught by Jesuit priests about Jesus. While at that young age I couldn’t fully comprehend what I was being taught, it did teach me to later be able to question some of what I learned.Read more
A regular part of RJsCorner is going to be looking at Will Rogers quotes and seeing how they apply in today’s world. So, this is the first of many in that area.
Even 80 years ago it seems that there were more than a few who thought religions did more damage than they helped. I think what Will was saying is that “Bible thumpers,” and whatever they are called in the other religions, are the most intolerant of differences of faith. They are just convinced that they are the only one who has got it right. This is what gets us into so many wars. The Sunni and Shiite quarrels cause thousands of deaths a year against each other and even to some of our boys and girls stationed over there trying futilely to control them. Not that many years ago it was the Irish Catholics vs. the Protestants and so on, and so on… People disagreeing with others about religion seems to be the norm in our world and we can’t figure out how to get past that ignorance.
I am a big believer in “Coexist.” That is telling ALL the faiths to just play nice. If we could only manage that, war deaths could be almost eliminated.
Let the other fella believe what he wants as long as he lets you do the same. It couldn’t be simpler than that.
But sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to actually accomplish, aren’t they?
It is becoming more and more recognized that religious beliefs are and have most likely always been one of the primary sources of conflict in this world.
Here are some words about the underlying reasons for this:
“Religion often becomes the master variable,” Harris says. “It provides a unique reward structure. If you believe that the thoughts you harbor in this life and the doctrines you adhere to spell the difference between an eternity spent in fire or one spent on the right hand of God, that raises the stakes beyond any other reward structure on earth.”
Tribal tendencies are natural for humans who need groups and community to survive. But the driving forces behind especially alienating, fundamentalist beliefs are a combination of nature and nurture, experts say.
Personally, I have always struggled to fully understand why religion has such a strong hold on so many. The quote above helps me understand that a little better. I am just not one of those people who believe things without proof as most religions demand.
What will it take for religions to finally come to agree to coexist in the world today? That is the major question at hand. When will they accept that everyone has a right to believe in the god of their choice or no god at all? Thomas Jefferson understood that early on and thankfully at least the concept is part of our constitution even if it hasn’t been fully implemented. In fact, Jefferson was more strongly a believer in freedom “from” religion than “of” religion.
Given that there are literally tens of thousands of versions of God in the world today coexistence is the only logical way to approach religious beliefs.
The words in the title above have been around for probably eons, but I kinda think they have been forgotten in today’s world. It seems that everyone wants everyone else to live their life as they do. Christians can’t tolerate non-Christians, Muslims think they need to kill anyone who doesn’t share their beliefs. And then there is the RedAmerica vs BlueAmerica, that divide is becoming too wide to even think of breaching.
Live and let live seems to be a forgotten phrase today, but I kind of think it is the solution to most of our problems we face. Let others believe whatever they want as long as it doesn’t hamper our ability to do the same. Quit jumping on your high-horse in order to reform the world to your liking.
Of course, I need to practice what I preach. Some of my posts are just too judgemental of others. I tend to criticize when their worldview does not match mine. I try to be constantly aware of this but sometimes it leaks through. I have a bumper sticker displayed on my vehicles with the word “Coexist”. It refers to asking all religions to live and let live with each other. But I kinda think it should be expanded to other areas of our lives too.
I will try to do better with this idea if you will too. All major movements start out with a few people sharing an idea. Who knows, maybe sometime in the future, this phrase will be the motto of the world. 🙂
My prayer for this holiday season is that all the religions of the world finally agree to coexist with one another and not try to force their individual beliefs and dogma on the rest of us. If only we could all quit killing each other in the name of our particular version of God this alone would go a LONG ways toward world peace that we all seemingly pray for..
Peaceful Coexistence Not War..
Of course this is my virtual desktop and not my physical one. Although they both represent my cluttered existence I guess. Chaos … Good News as far as complacency is concerned.
This graphic, which I don’t really remember where it came from, seems to be my current philosophy of life. Maybe I am trying to re-live my youth 🙂
Coexist was founded in 2006 in the United Kingdom. The organization formed as a direct response to heightening tensions between religious and cultural groups across the world, as evidenced by a 2002 Gallup Poll of the Islamic world. As a result of the poll, Elgawhary says, “people got to see what opinions the Muslim world had of the outside world and the West, and also what people in Western countries thought of the Muslim world. There was a glaring disconnect of understanding and perceptions between the two.” SOURCE: Coexist Foundation – National Geographic Education.
The one thing that saddens me more than anything else is all the killing around the world that is done in the name of God. Not only do people get stuck in their current view of God but they are ready to kill those who have a different view. I have become totally convinced that absolutely none of us have a lock on God. We all cling to our own religious documents as proof that we worship the only true god. When others disagree with us it far too often leads to conflict and death.
I have become very aligned with the ideas of the Coexist foundation. If only all of us could agree to disagree about spiritual things we would make the world much closer to what God probably wants. But that won’t happen within the hierarchies of our existing religious institutions. They are simply too engrained in their own rhetoric to be open to the possibility that they might not have it totally right about everything. The idea of coexisting with other religious beliefs must happen at the grass roots level. It must be a ground swell that simply overwhelms our ever present religious establishment biases.
Religions to me are more about their self convinced truths than they are about God. Surely deep in our hearts none of us really believe that God will utterly reject for eternity the vast majority of his human creation in favor of our very narrowly focused beliefs of him? Because of all this inter-religious strife I am currently very spiritual but not very religious and I think there are many others out there with the same mentality as me. As a matter of fact I believe that this is the primary reason that so many are currently leaving many church organization today or not even joining them in the first place.
When we die we just might come to learn that God loves all of us. Let’s all pledge to simply coexist with each other and wait for God to tell us his truths if he ever cares to do that….