Joe Doe on how we can be more respectful of others’ religious beliefs.
Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person, place or creed. †Bertrand Russell.
Some of us worship in churches, some in temples, others in mosques. Some don’t worship at all, and some of us don’t believe in any religion. Your personal feelings about religion immaterial in terms of this task.
Why? Because regardless of how each of us personally feels about religion, we all have active, daily relationships with people of faith. In my circle of friends are Catholics, Jews, Born Again Christians, Muslims, Mormons, Presbyterians, and a couple of Lutherans. No Jehovah Witnesses, however. And when I was a kid, there was†a wooden church that my friends said was a church of Holy Rollers, whatever that meant.
Plus there’s my dentist, who is an Indian, who I suspect is a Hindu. All of these people exist in a smallish town in a red state. In short, we are surrounded by people of other faiths. But what was the last time you entered a house of worship other than your own? Have you to a wedding at a temple? A baptism at a church? A funeral at a mosque? If you have, that’s great, but it doesn’t count. You were invited and weddings aside, you were probably forced to go. I know I was…
So I had a Jewish friend take me to a service at his temple. It was instructive. Solemn. Not particularily†interactive, but heartfelt and inclusive. I wore a yarmulke. And I looked good in it.
Now it’s your turn. Go to a church or a mosque or a temple or the cinder block building out in the country where they consider fiddling with rattlesnakes a religion and attend a service. If you can, go with someone of that religion so that you can ask questions. Be respectful and try to learn something, then go home and write it all down in your notebook.
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