A friend of ours just forwarded a link on his Facebook account. The link includes a photo and a title, much like most links do on Facebook. I didn’t follow the link because the associated photo includes a picture of a bible and the link title said, “The bible is bullshit.”
This kind of bothers me.
I haven’t really talked about overtly spiritual stuff on the blog lately. If you dig deep into the archives, you’ll probably stumble across some entries where I struggle with organised religion versus spirituality, finding your own path versus following something prescribed by others, etc. I still question these things on a daily basis and the one thing that I can say for certain is that I am not an atheist. To think that the human being is the greatest thing this universe can come up with strikes me as arrogant in some ways. I feel too much “something” occupying this vessel we call the body to think that they’re one in the same. When I die I know that “the me” will depart the vessel and move on to the next adventure. That’s one of the reasons that I struggle with funerals and memorial services. They’ve moved on and we should too. Some find that to be harsh.
I think the thing that bothers me about the aforementioned link is the harsh words used to describe their feelings on the Bible. I find it disrespectful. Just as I don’t ever want someone more religious than me to try to change me, preach to me or bang me over the head with their beliefs, I don’t believe that we should give others the right to explore their spiritual or religious beliefs as they see fit, and they should be given the same respect that we expect. If you find spiritual fulfillment in planting a tree, I’ll help you plant the tree as long as we’re not trying to change anyone or harm anyone. If you find that your path is fulfilled by standing on the stove and hoisting a box of Stove Top at the air, then I’ll make sure you don’t fall down. Give me respect and I’ll give you respect. It’s as simple as that.
I think some visitors to our home are surprised if/when they join us for a meal because our little family (Earl and me, Scott and Jamie) join hands and we say a prayer. We are thankful for whatever force got us to that moment and we are thankful for that. It’s acknowledgment of love and positive energy. Our recent wedding ceremony was comprised of many of the same themes. It’s what works for us on our path.
I was taught that religion and spiritual beliefs are a private matter between you and the higher power you have found on your path. I find atheists that tell me how wrong I am to “believe in magical voodoo” to be just as offensive as the folks that told my sister and me (back in elementary school) that we were going to hell because we were “sprinkled instead of dunked” when we were baptized.
Do I believe and subscribe to ever word the Bible contains? No. My own thought processes and subsequent determinations prevail on that. But for those that do, I hope you find the strength in the words that you hold dear and I will give you the respect to do just that.
Harsh words just bring on more harsh words. I think folks forget that from time to time.
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