Some people say I am “straddling the fence” on the subject of religion. They think I am “playing it safe” by not choosing an official creed. I personally think nothing could be further from the truth……
It would be so much easier to belong to one particular religion. I would have plenty of friends in my chosen group and I would be cleanly ignored by other sets of people that wish to convert me to their own religion. That would be NICE. I would like that; except I don’t seem to be able to say that one religion is “better” than another. Some may seem more evolved than others, but I think we’re all reaching for the same thing. I see the good in all of it. There may some things that I disagree with, but that is my choice.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting the lovely young lady, Suehaila Amen who starred in the television reality show, All American Muslim. She seems like a very fun person and she is Muslim, of course. I went to see her at a mosque. I go there most Fridays, to pray for the interpreters; and I will do this at least until they are out of danger, because most of them are Muslim, and I want them to KNOW that I care this much for them…. And when they are all rescued I will probably only go there once in awhile; but I think I will still go, because it has been a pleasant experience for me. I see many good things about my Muslim brethren.
I see many good things about my Christian brethren also; and this is the religion I was raised in, so it feels more familiar, but I disagreed with some about the church I was raised in. Even the great Christian, ex-President Jimmy Carter had to stop attending at his lifetime denomination when the values seemed to not change for the best. But this is opinion; what the best is, and we must each determine this for ourselves.
A Muslim friend asked me to find the root words for the terms God and Allah, and I have not yet done this. But already I think the root word for God is “good”, because I decided this made the most sense, on my own, and because this scholarly friend did confirm it….. And I am glad to have it confirmed that what I pay reverence to is indeed good. If the word Allah is rooted in something I also pay reverence to I will not be surprised.
Here we are in a day when religion is quite controversial; but it has always been so. Years ago when the Mormon religion began to gain strength in numbers, other Americans persecuted them to the extent that they murdered and drove them out into the desert of Utah. And yet today there is a Mormon campaigning for presidency of our United States. Today we stand at a position of choice; do we fight against intolerance of other religions or have we not learned our lesson? Immigrants take an oath of loyalty to America and swear to abide by the laws. What more do we want of them? Surely we cannot expect them to convert to a new religion? And many have already been here for many years living in peace; do we need to spy on them now to hear if they plot against their own country? It seems ridiculous to me.
There is no way to avoid pain if a group wants to inflict it upon you…. (but don’t think that real Muslim people would do that). Look no further than the example of Irish terrorism for so called Christian foul activity and Anglos should know this is not what Christianity is about. The same applies to many other religions whose fringes wish to include themselves. There is no way to avoid all the “crazies” and trying to do so is pretty much futile.
And I believe the best way to live is to know that your life has spiritual meaning. So live like you MEAN it. Live out loud and love and fear little. I don’t believe we were created to cower. Live, and let your neighbor live too; until it is each our time to go……..