Lots of misplaced faith goes into our judgments about "other' religions. Wars have often been fought over trivial matters that seemed important at the time, but in retrospect seem tragically silly. Religious people are quick to judge others who do not fit their narrow path.
How damned am I, for example, for thinking that...
...a jihad suicide will bring someone a host of virgins in the afterlife to serve him is a tragic misrepresentation of a faith
...that a yarmulke is convenient to cover up male-pattern baldness
...that eating pork (before there was refrigeration) should be avoided because of the danger of trichinosis
...that sitting alone on a mountaintop awaiting enlightenment is a terrible waste of talent and potential
...that firmly believing that you are eating and drinking the body and blood of Jesus (transubstantiation) is cannibalistic
...that spreading the faith by violence is not the voice of any major religious founder
The point of this exercise is not to belittle any faith, but to indicate how various religious practices or beliefs can seem very strange to non-believers. Frankly, I think that these narrow religious beliefs should have been thrown aside when we left the caves. I express that because historically religion has done more harm than good. There are moral and ethical people who proclaim no religious faith. Conversely, history is strewn with the blood and debris of religious violence.
All this takes on its most
dangerous aspects when people or groups announce that God is on their
side, teling them how to act and what to do. I challenge
any group to show me a book that can be rightfully or historically
shown to be the will of God. Certainly not what is put forth as
the Christian bible. That collection of writings has been changed
and edited by scribes and self-motivated selectors of the books to such
a degree that not only does the bible bear no resemblence to the
earliest writers, but within the Christian faith itself there are huge
dissentions about the canon of the book. And to believe what is
written in the bible, it requires some personal editing and selecting lest
children, for example, would be directed to kill their parents in
certain instances (as the bible directly instructs them to do).
If you must believe in a Supreme Being of some
sort, please do not limit him/her to your own shallow dimensions and
primitive creativity. Give him/her credit for the growing
revelations that are being made in science, math, and all study. A
grand and glorious era could be upon us if only we learned to shake off
the damaging limitations of restrictive religious belief systems.
Breathe enlightenment for a change. Feel the peace and
accompanying freedom which will teach you to love your neighbor,
regardless of your respective beliefs.