Noah, very worthwhile topic for discussion and contributions...
Mine is this...
I am also FOR religious tolerance & diversity, and can also never take these main opposition groups seriously as well, like the Stop the ACLU Campaign, because they merely have agendas of their own that make the same mistake as the ACLU by undermining other faiths, when America is all about encouraging diversity, no matter how unusual or unorthodox it is, as long as it doesn't harm or promote blasphemy to others.
Yanno, Noah, I believe no matter how you cut it, no matter how some try to comfort everyone thru diversity, there will always be others, who "believe" they can control the thoughts of others by forcing their ideas, beliefs, on others...Its called an obsession with control or force, or an inflated ego of power, b/c someone does not believe the way they do.
I'm thinking, when people learn (all of us) what the words allowance & tolerance means, then practice them, then, perhaps this world will be a little more comfortable place to live. WE humans can be so ridiculous, demanding and unreasonable, don't you think?
Years ago, an older boss of mine and I were having a discussion about a special interest issue. He said, (and his theory was proven) that it would be so nice to have a perfect world, but unfortunately these special interest groups take an issue to the complete opposite end of the spectrum...forcing not only their opinions down our throats, but also, excuse bad/corrupt or criminal behavior on behalf of their advocates, instead of standing up for what is right and saying, "Nope, I'm sorry, you were wrong and you don't get our support". They have become, so powerful, that of course, they even buy votes.
Same with Religions...and religious group leaders...we have to learn to be diverse, and allow others their beliefs...not force beliefs down our throats by control and laws, that only breeds hate, confusion, anger, hurt, takes away freedom and will eventually be our own demise, if we don't.
yanno, we all came to this country as immigrants...bringing along our own beliefs...and we should be able to practice our own beliefs...we shouldn't be so darned concerned with being politically correct, more so, we should concerned with being constructive working members of a community, (a team so to speak) because what we do, what we react to, how we reflect, effects the lives of so many other people.
We can get along, or we can fight each other, simply because we have separate beliefs...????? To me, if we'd stand back and realize how silly we're being, how controlling we're being...well, it might make us so much more aware...so much more compatible...leaving this place better for the next generation?????
I like vanilla ice cream, you might love chocolate...that should be ok, not a reason to judge or question your character...and when it comes down to it, that's how very silly, unrealistic and ridiculous these issues become. Extremism....
For instance, letís take the Di Vinci Code... (And I don't want to get off the subject, this is simply an example)
Last night I walk into my mother's home, and there on the TV are these evangelists still trying so hard to disprove "The Di Vinci Code"
Geese Louise, Get over it...it's a movie, it's a book, and it's up to the individual what they wish and chose to believe. Yanno, think about how silly this whole thing is and yet how dangerous it could be?
Yet I actually heard one of these evangelists call those who wished to go see the movie, read the book or believe in the concept, fools??????? On the other hand, and the complete opposite I know a man at work, whose Church not only encouraged their parishioners to read and study the subject but places all these books on the topic out in front of the church for those who wished to read were welcome to...now, let me remind you, this is a Catholic Church who believe me, were not initiating the concept of the DiVinci Code but were sending a very important message....read, study, come to your own decision and personal belief....
which is a very good practice...in my opinion....
I mean think about this Noah, way back when, the priests actually burned people at the stake or tortured im-mersifcally (is that a word? ), if anyone believed in another way, or spoke out in disagreement. If that were the case today, sheesh, believe me, I'd be ashes 20 times over
Seriously, these issues to me, are ridiculous and not very realistic. As a human race, we are not progressing, but regressing...we should have learned a long time ago, that fights over religion kill people
itís so darn foolish, a waste of time, energy and lives. It actually demoralizes society....Why, what if this issue, escalated into such a fight that two people would actually kill each other over this issue, lets say, you and me....because one wanted to force their beliefs upon the other...and we became so agitated, they one of us began to strike out with words, humiliating each publicly, (words can kill) and before we knew it, one of us struck the other and killed one of us...dead...???
Was is it worth it, and how does that act reflect on others? Is being right that important? Well, it must be cuz, it happens all the time...(simply trying to make a point at how something very silly can escalate into something very devastating and life threatening, serving as an example to everyone else watching...including our children...it tells them, it's ok to do so) and it's not. Itís not ok to kill people over a disagreement...this whole thing is very very sad...religion and politics...there is not one who can throw stones...we are all in this together...and until we learn, tolerance and acceptance, I'm afraid we will never progress intellectually, as well as, ethically.
Noah, I agree with you on this subject whole heartedly...
Religious beliefs should be rewarding, privet, personal and significant...but this country was built on the freedom to do so...not so others can force thereís on us, or visa versa, or to judge another due to it...but to respect each others freedom to do so...in so much as tolerance to allow.
This is a perfect reason why I cannot tolerate fundamentalism and religion. Every darn religion believes (theirs) is the almighty word...and each religion possesses its own man made rules...and when a religion separates people, or judges others, for their beliefs, then how can they actually expect others to follow?
I can write a poem, and 10 other people can read that poem and come to their own conclusion & interpretations about the poem, and that's ok...whatever works for them, yet, personally, it was not the purpose of the poem, and that is how unfortunately, The Bible is constantly fought over...it's absolutely ridiculous...sad, and contrary to anyone's faith...yanno?
My faith is a very personal thing, between my God and myself...it's special, it's spiritual and its my right...to sing out about it, to be happy about it...but it is not my right to force it on anyone else, or expect them to believe the way I do, yet I wish to be a working part of my community, to assist if I'm needed, to contribute in any way I can, to make this place a little better then when I found it...to encourage freedom, we must love and be tolerant, not to the point of excusing criminal acts...but to live in harmony...by allowing and understanding we might not be right...no one knows until the day they come to meet their maker, and then we alone will have to atone for our mistakes...personally, I have enough to atone for, I don't want one of those atonements to be, that I hurt another or turned another away from the church b/c I was to forceful and to preoccupied with power and material gain or wealth. There is not one religion above another or more correct, and neither is any human being...
many thanks to you for bringing this issue to the table and for allowing me to contribute and express my feelings about it...