Learning to Respect Religions

 


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Our society seems to be obsessed with simplicity and categorizing people into boxes.  I strongly believe the root cause of all that keeps human kind together is this need to throw away our oneness and divide ourselves into teams.

Religion is one of the major dividing forces in this world.  I left Christianity many years ago and have never had the desire to go back.  In NYC it’s super easy to be agnostic, and that is one of the reasons I love living in New York.

This past May I spent in Florida at a Buddhist temple.  Spending time at a Buddhist temple in a conservative Christian state was a trip.   God Bless you was an easy greeting.  People invited me to their church and would pass me a flyer about being saved.  They would make assumptions that I was a Christian because I am a black woman.  That I have some sort of deep connection to religion.

Then when they’d find out I was staying at a Buddhist temple they would try to put me into that box and try to debate.

6 weeks in Florida on my own I began to learn how to disengage.

I’m more concerned with living the values that religions teach people rather than using religion to believe that the group that I believe in is the only group that right and everyone else is wrong.

I’m more concerned than being kind to everyone for the sake of being kind rather than being kind to people because if I don’t God will punish me.

I’m more concerned with being able to accept religious people as they are without judgment than joining some religious group in their judgment of everyone who does not believe.

Funny thing is, people who are in the self-help, 12 step, and therapy movements have SO MANY similarities to people who are highly religious.

Oneness works in amazing ways.

Disengaging from my judgment of Religion is allowing my heart to develop a deeper level of empathy and compassion for folks who need the structure of a religion to function and be happy.

I mean, it makes sense and it totally works.

Then I heard an episode of On Being with Krista Tippet with Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni – from On Being with Krista Tippett

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Nikki Giovanni – from On Being with Krista Tippett

She said about The Middle Passage…

“If you can survive that journey and be sane when you get there…that’s what we haven’t looked at….That sanity allowed them to listen to and take in a religion.”

(if you’d like to hear the entire unedited interview CLICK HERE  it’s fantastic)

I never thought about it that way.  I always thought that Christianity was so evil because it stripped the diverse African tribes of their culture in order to keep them in bondage.  Yet there is not an either or.  I, myself, put religion…into a box.  Those enslaved Africans were able to transform those restrictive beliefs into something they could believe in that was larger than themselves in order to live from a place of love in order to adapt and survive.  If they did not do that… I would not be here living free with all the opportunities I have today.

As much as religion was an tool of oppression, it was a vehicle for freedom.

My formative years of life were deeply rooted in a strong Christian belief system and it’s a part of who I am.  I’ll never lose that part of me.  I respect the religious people for whom their faith makes them better for themselves and for the rest of us.

Those religious people who use their beliefs to oppress, bully, judge and kill others… well they are the problem on this planet.

Ashe

J9

 

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About SpritualGirl in a MaterialWorld

It seems like the Material world craves simplicity, yet in reality we live in complexity and chaos. I investigate and explore...in order to...process.
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