Sometimes it amazes me just how divisive religion and faith can be. I hate the assumptions that people sometimes make based on superficial, often incorrect, ideas of what another’s belief system is all about. I have always believed that most religions share the same core values and are, in essence, just different paths seeking the same thing. The beauty of living in this country is that we each have the freedom to worship in any manner we choose, and that choice should be free of judgement. But it rarely ever is. Too many times I have been on the recieving end of someone’s wrath, simply because I don’t believe or worship as they do. I can’t stand to see religion or faith wielded as a weapon against someone and I don’t believe that following my spiritual beliefs in my own way makes me a lesser human being.
It seems like the holidays can either bring out the best or the worst in people, when it comes to faith and religious beliefs. I am certainly not one of those who believes that “Merry Christmas” wishes should be replaced with the generic “Happy Holidays”, and I also think that keeping Christ in Christmas is a beautiful thing for those who believe. But there are other religions that celebrate their own holidays during this time of year that are just as legitimate and just as spiritually important to those celebrating them. I truly hate the overwhelming attitude that I have seen this year that dismisses anything other than the mainstream Christmas as important, too. I have seen some truly derisive and rude things written or said that completely insult the spirituality of those who believe differently.
I have friends of a lot of different faiths and we all want the same basic things for ourselves and for those we love. We are Catholics, and Buddhists, and Mormons, and Pagans, and Christians, and Jewish. That just proves to me that no matter how different our paths may be, they don’t make any one of us any lesser a person than anyone else.
It always amazed me how many people can be openly rude and hateful while hiding behind their religion. But then I am a firm believer of judging a person by the person, not their faith, their color, their race, or sex. I would like to be around when people actually read up on the history behind the more main stream holidays… Many are not as rooted in Christianity as they like to believe… being a part of another’s religious event is showing you care about the person.
I totally agree with you. It’s about the person you are, not your faith, not your color, not your gender. And you’re right about the root of a lot of the major holidays. I read a lot of stuff about world religions, and I think is kind of amazing how many major religions started from the same common root and then branched out over time.