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An essay donated by K. Turner

Accepting religious diversity.

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It appears to me that many people, regardless of their specific religious beliefs, have chosen to overlook many things in their quest to prove that their specific religion, or denomination within a religion, is the "correct" one.

For instance, what is the probability that leaders of long ago ordered the people who copied the Bible, or other sacred religious books, to include their own beliefs (the leaders)? I know that this point may not be to the liking of some people. And that is okay...EVERYONE is entitled to their own beliefs. Most people are creatures of habit and tradition. They believe because they were taught to believe, and in turn teach their children to believe.

I was raised in a Southern Baptist church, and continue to attend services at the same church. I have faith in what I believe because I've been shown time and again truths. This is a very personal thing, though. I do not expect my class mates, friends, and family to believe exactly the same thing, right down to the last minute detail. How could I expect this? Every person on this earth has experienced differences in family dynamics, cultural differences, life experiences, spiritual experiences. These things affect what a person believes, in spiritual, religious, and other ways.

It is not my job to tell anyone else that they are wrong or to pass judgment on others in any way. It is my job to love my brothers and sisters...because no matter what religion you may practice, you have to believe that we all were created. We all were valued and were born to fulfill our purpose. Now, I may share with others my beliefs and invite them to seriously consider the goodness and grace that I have found. But, I do not condemn them if they choose otherwise.

Sometimes, I think we have to look at the bigger picture with regard to all of this. For instance, I am a Christian. If I have judgmental thoughts about someone else because they are different from me, then what must God think of me? If I shun someone because their actions, decisions, and choices are different from mine, how is that love? I can disagree with someone or debate with someone about individual beliefs, but that doesn't mean I have to belittle, insult, or berate them.

There's bound to be someone who reads this essay who thinks that I am not committed to my God. And you have the right to think whatever you'd like...but you don't know my heart, and you're not the one I answer to, anyway. I SAID THAT TO MAKE A POINT...WE ALL INDIVIDUALLY HAVE THE RIGHT TO BELIEVE HOWEVER WE CHOOSE.

I think if we all were more mindful of our own actions and body language, we could show the truths of our individual beliefs better. If we reached out a helping hand to others despite differences...if we truly cared about something more than our own selfish desires...maybe then we could accept each other.

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Originally posted: 2007-NOV-
Latest update: 2007-NOV-
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