Certain things are simply Taboo. And no, this is not going to be another 'TMI' post, I'm talking about a different kind of Taboo.
As a rule, I don't discuss politics or religion via social networks - both issues are simply too divisive. I've broken my rule a couple times, and am about to break it again.
I recently had an interesting conversation with a friend who is Athiest, and learned two things:
1. As a practicing Catholic, I am nowhere near as 'tolerant' as I previously thought I was, and
2. Lack of religion is sort of a religion, as well.
You see, for me, religion fills several purposes. It is a social structure that, among other things, links me to people with similar values. It also gives me an identity to fall back on when I just don't KNOW who I am, or who I want to be. But most of all, I think religion gives me a frame of reference that helps me make 'good choices'. Makes sense, right?
So, back to my athiest friend - who also happens to be a milspouse. It turns out that we have a lot more in common that just our husbands' jobs. She also links socially to those who share her 'no God' views. She lists this belief as a major part of her identity, and she uses her beliefs in making decisions about right and wrong.
Sounds a lot like my religious practice, right?
Not that I agree with her religious views, but I also can't condemn her for her beliefs.
And that thought got me wondering about other religions......
For instance, if her beliefs (so contrary to my own) are OK, then what about those jerks with the Westboro Baptist Church? You know, the ones who picket military funerals to spread their message of HATE......if my friend's LACK of religion is a religion that I can recognize and on some level 'accept', then do I also have to recognize and accept HATE as a religion?
I guess, I kind of do accept that those hateful demonstrators have a right to their opinions and beliefs; my problem is really with their tasteless and hurtful way of trying to FORCE their views on the rest of us. And at a FUNERAL, of all places!?!
Lest anyone read this and get upset about me comparing athiests to hatemongers, I am NOT comparing the two. To me, athiesm falls on a scale about as opposite my own beliefs as I would have thought possible......but then hateful people like the members of the Westboro Baptist Church seem to go so far OFF that scale, I thought they deserved a mention, with my current train of thought.
So, what do YOU think? I normally delete anonymous comments, but if you choose to comment ANONYMOUSLY on this specific post, I will not delete it (provided you are contributing to the discussion/debate I am anticipating here).
Here are the questions I would love for your all to answer:
1) is HATE a religion?
2) should funeral demonstrations be banned, or should they remain protected under the Constitution?
3) do you have close friends who belong to a faith that is dramatically different than your own, and if so, do you feel that those friends RESPECT your own religious views?
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