Why I love my new president

Read it, and weep, and cheer.

Excerpt:

The Holy Koran tells us: “O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.”

The Talmud tells us: “The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace.”

The Holy Bible tells us: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

A-fucking-men.

The same spirit forged the same words, in multiple languages, for three different brands of faith. Why can’t people see that?

Why do people think that one religion has to be better than the other? So what if your religion tells you I’m going to Hell if I don’t believe in the same kind of God you do? If you tried your best to “save” me and I didn’t want to be saved, then you tried your best and your God shouldn’t fault you for not being stronger than an “evil” that he created, right?

And if I don’t directly harm you by my “heathen” ways, then you should have no problem living side-by-side with me, working at the same workplace, taking the same public transportation or driving on the same roads. You’ll have your faith, I’ll have my non-faith, you’ll go to Heaven, and I’ll just die.

Why can’t all religious people see that?

It makes me want to re-read Skinny Legs and All again.

Advertisements

4 Responses to “Why I love my new president”

  1. Phil Says:

    If I might ask: what is it that you want religious people to see, that we aren’t seeing? I’m all for tolerance, and also for recognizing the common ground that different faiths have with each other. To me it’s not a question of whether one religion is “better” than another…I think that’s the wrong word to use. It maybe makes sense to use that word if you are evaluating how much harm or good is caused by their tenets, independently of whether their historical or philosophical claims are true. But it matters, to me at least, is what is true. I agree with many of the common things that Christians and Muslims and Jews believe about how to be a good person, and even about the nature of God, but I’m a Christian rather than a Muslim because I agree with what Christianity says about Jesus, and disagree with the opposing stuff that Islam says about Jesus.

    I can see how, from your standpoint as an agnostic, these things aren’t that important, but don’t you see how, to us, they must be important, and also that we think that they might have relevance to you as well?

  2. Alena Says:

    I have to agree with Phil – as a religious person (in my case, Christian) I can appreciate and respect other religions and viewpoints, without accepting them as truth. Belief entails disagreement; I cannot call myself a Christian (or any other religion) and then say that all the different “roads to (heaven)” are equally true. That would be to deny the beliefs inherent in my religion! Inclusive religion is false religion.

    I have a question, regarding the three holy book quotes: is the one for the Koran the only one you could find about peace? Because it is truly the “one” in “which one doesn’t belong” in the collection. I found that kind of sad.

    • Trisha Lynn Says:

      The excerpted quote is from President Obama’s speech, and you’d have to ask him and/or his writers about that. Or, you could perhaps read the Qur’ran and see if there are any quotes in about peace that would have fit his rhetoric better.

      I cannot call myself a Christian (or any other religion) and then say that all the different “roads to (heaven)” are equally true. That would be to deny the beliefs inherent in my religion! Inclusive religion is false religion.

      Why not? Why can’t you say, “Well, if you think that if you’ll attain heaven by being a Muslim, that’s fine for you; I prefer Christianity and this is why it works for me” and leave it at that? Why do you have to take that extra step and pronounce another person’s beliefs as being false?

      As I’ve said before in this blog and in other comments, because we can never know for a certainty whether or not one religion really does profess the way towards an afterlife, it’s a little over-reaching and full of hubris for one to say that their religion is the only way.

      • Phillip Says:

        “Why not? Why can’t you say, “Well, if you think that if you’ll attain heaven by being a Muslim, that’s fine for you; I prefer Christianity and this is why it works for me” and leave it at that? Why do you have to take that extra step and pronounce another person’s beliefs as being false?

        As I’ve said before in this blog and in other comments, because we can never know for a certainty whether or not one religion really does profess the way towards an afterlife, it’s a little over-reaching and full of hubris for one to say that their religion is the only way.”

        If I might try to answer this, even though it wasn’t directed at me, I think I’d start by pointing out that there are really two questions at stake here, that often get muddled together (and I think Alena muddles them a bit). The first question is “what religion (if any) is true?” That is, what is reality really like? Though there is also much agreement, religions disagree with each other about very basic things, and where they do, it really makes no sense at all to say “true for you, but not for me.” We share a reality, and that can’t be helped. Much that Christianity says has to do with our shared reality. Believing in Christianity is not just stating a preference–and neither is believing in Islam, or anything else. If I believe Jesus was raised from the dead, that’s a belief I have concerning our shared reality, the reality that you and I both inhabit. In the same way, I believe the earth is probably billions of years old. This contradicts what some of my fellow Christians believe. We can’t both be right. I can’t change the fact that I believe some things that others don’t; the best I can do is be honest about the fact we disagree, and try to explain why I think my position is the correct one, and keep an open mind to the possibility of being wrong. This isn’t, by the way, ideal–I’d much rather everyone agreed on everything. For what it’s worth, from my Christian perspective, I think that will be the case in the new heavens and the new earth, when we all see truth clearly. But that’s not how it is in this world.

        The second question is the question “who goes to heaven.” That is a different question; it’s related, but more difficult, and controversial–Christians themselves disagree on the exact answer to this. And this is a question I think that practically everyone would agree that no one, save God, knows for certain. From the Christian side of things, it comes down to the question of whether someone can not know the factual truth about Jesus, and still make it to heaven. Some Christians think this is likely, others do not.

        I would say: don’t let the fact that you don’t like a very exclusive sort of answer to the question of who goes to heaven (no one really does) get in the way of your evaluation of Jesus and the basic claims of Christianity, about his divinity and resurrection. That’s what is central, of first importance. That’s what I care about proposing to you and others as a true fact of our shared reality. I care about proposing it to you because, by the very nature of the belief itself, I think it has relevance to your life–I think that this Jesus is real, alive, and cares about you. It wouldn’t be good, or honest, of me to think these things and not want to share that with others, to be content that they not hear at least why I think these things. I understand that people will disagree, and that’s fine; we can talk, we can make progress, explore each others thoughts. It’s true, as you say, that we can’t know for certain now who is right, but we can try to understand each other, learn from each other, and maybe even change each others minds somewhat.

Comments are closed.


%d bloggers like this: