Is it reasonable for individuals to be so blinded by their beliefs that it becomes hard for them to not offend people who may not share their own faith?
Sometimes we humans are so passionate about our beliefs that we are unable to see beyond them. Meaning, we vehemently seek to spend time promoting the beliefs and make it our lifestyle to advertise them. You ask what’s wrong with that? My answer to you is, really nothing- as long as your ‘advertisements’ are respectful. Because, I do feel that there is quite possibly a chance of offending people close to us, who do not necessarily follow our adverts.
This holds very true when the beliefs we seek to advertise are pertaining to religion. Most people have had some sort of religious training in their childhood- a means of parents trying to transmit sacred beliefs to their young ones. It is not merely an effort to pass on what they know and believe to be true. It is also an effort to show our loved ones what they need to know to lead a successful life in the real world. These beliefs when passed on become close to our hearts and are revered powerfully. They may not be advertised, but they certainly become an integral part of who we are. We continue to live our lives driven by what our parents and community teach us about our religious beliefs.
Meeting diverse people later in life via college or moving to a different state or country gives you the opportunity to learn more about other people. You begin to understand who they are and respect what they believe in. Personal development and growth ensue and bonds begin to strengthen- based on mutual understanding. This is the most fortunate example of what one could encounter in terms of divergent beliefs: mutual respectability and genuine interest in each others lives.
Other encounters are more unfortunate. Certain breeds of people endeavor to cultivate unhealthy feelings of differences in beliefs by periodically provoking and attacking others’ beliefs. While it is normal to want to know more about the people around you, it is not acceptable- under any circumstances to attack and degrade their most sacred beliefs.
If one is happy and content with her own beliefs, she should have no reason to levy disrespectful jabs at individuals who are peacefully following their own beliefs. Taunting beliefs that others in the community hold sacred and dear to themselves is an uncalled for activity and is not to be tolerated at any cost. But since there seems to be no applicable peaceful solution to the issue of disrespectful behavior from zealots towards religious minorities- feigning a neutral stance on religious issues seems like the way to go. At least in effort to avoid ‘below the belt’ comments regarding your religious affiliation by so called friends.
March 17, 2009 at 11:19pm