Both my husband and I were raised as conservative Baptist Christians. As adults, we each lead our lives, trying to be the best people, parents and partners we can be. The answers, comfort and faith some have in Christianity does not ring true for us, but I have all the respect for anyone who lives according to their faith or philosophy. I have no tolerance for intolerance. I follow a Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, and my husband considers Zen Buddhism to be right up his alley. Our children will be taught about as many religions and philosophies as possible, so that when they are old enough they can decide what’s right for them. For now they love giving the Buddha tapestry that has hung in every home we’ve lived in, a high-five. That’s what Buddhism means to my them, and that’s enough for now.
We all ultimately want to live a life free from pain and suffering; every person on this planet wishes to be happy. We may go about it different ways, but I for one will never tell you your view is wrong, because I don’t think anyone can be 100% positive that their religion is the “right” one. I take issues with religions that divide people into “us” and “them”- them being sinners who must be saved, told how they are living their lives all wrong, and why they should be more like you. Information is helpful, the teaching of a never ending fire fueled hell facing those that do not believe is not. No one should believe in something because they fear what will happen if they don’t. I take the time to listen to my Christian family members who live like Christians, but also see the rampant use of religion as an excuse to be an a–hole.
My husband summed it up quite nicely. Regardless of what you do or don’t believe, be good and don’t be a jerk. This is the shared foundation that all religions and philosophies stand on, and thus the commonality we share with all other people regardless of their faith or lack of one.
I have been asked if I believe in God and I reject the question out of hand. The question comes preloaded with a set of ideals and standards that no sane person would consider if they were laid out on the table.
The problem is one of selective blindness.
The Will of a Deity has driven people to murder and think that it is right. It has been used to enforce fear and hide secrets. Be your source recorded history or yesterday’s news, there is always an undercurrent of Divine Right.
The belief that there is more to it than all this is the primal need of our giant brains. It has healed the sick and put people on a celestial body. The constant, relentless need to find ultimate truth has built and destroyed countless civilizations. It is a terrible yawning vacuum, this kernel in our psyche that asks, “Why?”
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