I am a proponent of many different religions and I feel that the devoutly religious often share the same values and goals no matter what their religion; but what I do find offensive is the use of coercion to punish and/or convert people who hold other as deeply held beliefs
I realize that for some people just by saying this I have lost my chance for a happy life in the hereafter or even here on earth. I know this stance is offensive to some people and that they feel that I don’t even have the right to say, feel, or think this way. Somehow I don’t think of this as practicing freedom of religion. Oh, don’t let me forget, the rights of atheists, possibly even those of agnostics, idolaters, and people who don’t have any religious beliefs at all and may feel that they don’t need them or want them.
We should practice what we preach even if it makes us uncomfortable. So far, I have a great admiration for Pope Francis even though I am not Catholic as he practices what he preaches and still reaches out to all. Look at the ecumenical movement. Pastors in some cities and small towns share their burdens as pastors, preachers, and priests, chaplains in monthly get togethers..
I believe we are all children of God. you may not believe this; and both of us should be able to exercise these beliefs as long as we hurt no one. I also believe in the ultimate sense that no one is innately better than someone else. This to me forms a caste system where a group or groups by virtue of certain characteristics has privileges that are denied to others.
The most beautiful thing I have seen is when people of different religions share and help each other out rather than shunning each other and inadvertently making each others lives miserable, both their own and other people’s. Hanging on to negative thoughts can be as debilitating as forcing them onto others in the form of guilt and shame. Finally once you take a person’s life (even if in the name of God) you devalue the lives of all including your own. War and the accompanying deaths of the “enemy” and civilians who “accidentally” get in the way is a very serious thing and those who take it seriously and feel that such a thing is really necessary carry a heavy burden and they realize it.
This post is not an attempt to answer the question, “Is war necessary or Godly.” Think for yourself. To me, thinking is a God given ability. Don’t too easily give this (what I think is a right) away to someone or something else even though you also have the right to do this. Also when it comes to the practice of your religion is it not a good idea to explore the “Word” (usually considered to have come from “God”) that you may base your religious beliefs on.
Whenever man chooses to use some form of slavery to amass a fortune and gain power over others, he loses his soul. In order to do this a person has to lie to himself, herself, or others to do this. The most unfortunate thing is when a person lies to him or her self about what he or she is doing and comes to believe it. The worst person to lie to is oneself.One lie leads to another. Watch the movie, 12 Years A Slave. The plantation owner’s wife was led to deceive so she could keep her husband and plantation. The plantation owner deceived himself and how he treated his mistress who was one of his slaves. The slave herself lied to the plantation owner and those who lived on the plantation about her feelings about being forced to be his mistress. The other slaves and the plantation owner’s wife didn’t know that the mistress was doing this against her will and she endured cruelty from the plantation owner’s wife, other slaves, and as well as the plantation owner himself.
What a life we live when first we practice to deceive. Does the end justify the means? How often do you lie to yourself or others in order to not feel guilty or shamed about something. Especially if we are vulnerable to the judgment of others. Rationalizing is giving a “good” reason for doing something that others will accept without criticism. It also could be said that someone was justifying something they did.
Confession is good for the soul. The place to start is with your own conscience. Examine yourself. Are you telling any lies of omission and/or co-mission. Remember only a fool believes his or her own lies and lets them becomes his or her reality. If you believe you can’t for give yourself for something you did or said, it is more likely that you can’t reveal that you have been rationalization and justifying these things to others and yourself. Your justifications and rationalizations you do reveal even to yourself what they really are lies.
Do you conveniently forget stuff you have done that makes you uncomfortable? Do you tell a “made up” reason for doing something so frequently in order to be more comfortable, that you have forgotten the real reason.
As adults we often find it easy to bamboozle our children and get them to believing something that is not true. Then we laugh at how they react. Sometimes they even cry. Yes, it is easy to lie to children or to others who don’t know what we know; but should we. Taking their innocence away from children is stealing using lies and deceit. Children are not called “innocent” for nothing.
Charlatans and psychopaths know when they are lying, but they don’t care if they are telling the truth or not. Do you? Get something the “right” way or don’t get it at all. When you lie, you lose everyone’s respect including your own.