I’ll try to keep this one short and sweet. I know everyone’s dealing with Christmas, and God knows I’m having trouble keeping up with all of the holiday foibles.
I was talking to a friend the other day about religion. She is quite strongly Christian, and I’m quite contentedly a Druid. When you look at all the arguments people have had over religion in the media and throughout history, my friend and I shouldn’t have been able to talk religion without coming to blows or at least upsetting one another. Yet, we had a very frank discussion about the weirdness that exists in the Bible, the Quran, Buddha’s teachings, and so on. It’s true that there’s a lot of inconsistencies in any religion. That’s sort of the nature of theology. When so many laws and parables were written so long ago (and often my committee), it’s bound to be hard to relate to people in the modern world.
Rather than be discouraged, though, we also reveled in the beauty of faith. Don’t get me wrong…I don’t get along with many Christians, but it has very little to do with their religion. I’m a firm believer that everyone should practice their own faith in their own ways. Such a leap is a very personal journey, and it’s not up to me to mess with that. My problem entails how many Christians try to tell me how I’m wrong. Seriously. You’d think they’d have something else to focus their energies on.
It doesn’t matter how much you believe your religion is the “one true religion,” you can’t belittle the faith of others. For as long as humans have been on this earth, we’ve yearned to answer the question of our own mortality. Most of us (atheists are truly the minority here) believe that there is something more. I know I do. Faith helps us see the beauty of what’s around us, what’s occurred before, and just what might lie ahead. It’s astounding, yet we’ve developed whole cultures around the concept of the afterlife. Rather than grow angry at believers of Islam or try to discourage Pagans (like myself), I just wish we’d celebrate that so many of us yearn for a higher reasoning for our lives. Our differences shouldn’t divide us.
So…remember this on Christmas tomorrow. Religion is an intrinsic part of our cultures for a reason, and it isn’t ever going to go away for that very same reason. We see the world as big and scary, and a little peace of mind helps us cope. We just need to recognize that everyone else’s peace of mind takes a different form. And that’s okay.