I decided not to go to church this morning and instead sit on the back deck and drink in the sunshine. It is Palm Sunday today in the Catholic tradition, and for some reason I am thinking about religious intolerance. Odd topic for such a beautiful, sunny morning, but it is what is on my mind.
Basically, I don't think that anyone should ever talk bad about someones belief system. Buddhism, Hinduism, or Christianity may not be what you believe, but I don't believe that gives anyone the right to talk bad about these religions. Some more fanatic believers will say that we must convert all people to the same religion or the same belief. I think that has disastrous possibilities. What is more likely to happen is that the person may give up their belief, adopt a new belief that they eventually find lacking in someway, and stop believing in anything. I also believe that people have the right not to not believe in a higher power. In other words, people have the right to be agnostic or atheist. Once again, we shouldn't criticize this decision. Faith is a personal choice.
For so many people, it is their faith that helps them get through the day. Face it, it is tough out there in the world. Faith is what motivates some people to get out of bed, get in the car, drive on the freeway, go to their 30th floor office in an elevator suspended from cables, etc. It is that little extra confidence that they need so that they don't get hopelessly depressed over illness, joblessness, financial troubles, racial discrimination, political unrest, and death. For some people, it is their faith in a consciousness after death that allows them to peacefully exit this world without going stark raving mad.
If we truly cared about the people who live on this earth with us, we wouldn't try to take away something that is so much a part of what gets them through the day. We wouldn't try to make them all conform to one thought or one idea of what faith should look like. Faith, or the choice to not have faith, is a very personal issue, and it is something that is decided by each person every single day of their life.
Just some thoughts on faith. Have a great day!