My Dear. Religion is rather like a penis. It’s perfectly fine for you to have one and to be proud of it. However, when you whip it out, wave it in my face and try to shove it down my throat, then we have a problem.
I simply adore this quote. It really does speak to me on a deep level. Now I know that it’s humerous and it’s irrelevant but it helps me to remain calm and focused in the face of adversity. Why do I do that? I feel insulted when my spiritual choices are ridiculed and belittled by people who have simply no idea what they are talking about.
I respect everyone’s spiritual/religious choices. You can believe in Buddha, the goddess and the horned god, god or Allah. You can even worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster if you want to. As long as it makes you happy and it doesn’t hurt or upset anyone else, it is fine by me.
However. When I extend a courtesy to you, I would like to think that same courtesy to me. You don’t have the right to be disrespectful to another person over their religious/spiritual beliefs. Just because someone doesn’t have the same set of beliefs as you, does not mean that you can mock their beliefs. If I don’t know anything about the religion of a friend of mine then I will make an effort to discover what I can about that religion so that I can discuss things and know what I am talking about. I think it is disrespectful and it only implies ignorance if one attempts to argue a topic when one has no knowledge of it.
Yet members of certain religions or a certain religion in particular think that they have the right to denounce you and tell the world that you are going to hell because you do not follow the same religion as them. They rudely announce that they will pray for you soul despite you telling them that your soul is just fine and needs no help from them. They will pressurise you to follow their religion and tell you how you should live.
Can people not learn that ignorance is one of the prime causes of conflict? Both verbal and physical? Surely people can see that having a little more knowledge and tolerance of the spiritual pathway of others can promote a greater sense of understanding? We have to be more open and tolerant. We have to make the effort to learn to know more about other religions. We have to be tolerant. Hate begets hate