I have learned so much from God that I can no longer call myself a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew. ~~ Hafiz
I read this quote recently, shared by a friend of mine who I think is quite wonderful — kajjajja. She always makes my brain go in to this weird orbit of thought… and this quote certainly did that for me.
I’ve been having some profound conversations with my kids lately — conversations that excite me and scare me and leave me hoping I said the right thing. Many of the conversations start with a question like this, “We’re Christians, right?”
At this point my heart usually skips a beat… these are the talks that are important to get right, these are the talks that lead to many gray areas and the gray areas usually are where all the good stuff lies — or so I read somewhere.
I hesitate… I breathe…
“Are you asking for a fundamental reason or are you asking for some type of clarification on your own thoughts?”, is usually my response.
Lately, at this point, the conversation usually turns to understanding differences in people — differences that mean we are all connected and we are all separated at the same time. Gray areas.
My children have been active members of their church for years, they attend youth retreats and youth events and bible studies and they feed the homeless and they collect clothes and gifts and food for those less fortunate. They read. They meditate. They ponder.
They tell me how they corrected someone when the subject of a mosque being built at ground zero that isn’t actually a mosque and isn’t actually being built at ground zero came up in a conversation. They tell me how they corrected someone in a conversation when a derogatory remark was made about a person who is gay. Then they ask me, “If we are Christians, why do we think so differently than other Christians?”
I hesitate… I breathe…
I don’t believe that a person who happens to be Muslim has a need to hate me simply based on the fact that they are Muslim and I am not any more than you should assume that I am a member of a hatred group because I was born and raised in the south — the deep south, where I know what it means to have a rebel flag flying outside of your business.
I do not believe that my friend who shares her life with another woman is any less of a good person based on who she fell in love with anymore than you should believe that I am full of good choices considering the fact that my own marriage did not pass the test of time.
I don’t need quotes from the Bible tossed out explaining why to me. I’ve read some wonderful things from the Bible and take away from it what I felt was important — the same as you and your quotes. But what really is the difference?
I guess my point is… how can we share a religious view if what I have read and heard and understand points me towards tolerance and kindness and what you have read and heard and understand points you towards exclusion and judgement?
I hope to continue to have these conversations with my kids, I hope they never feel compelled to stay silent when they know a situation calls for a voice, I hope they continue to learn that tolerance is always needed, that kindness is always welcomed, and that thinking is a great tool.
The whole purpose of religion is to facilitate love and compassion, patience, tolerance, humility, forgiveness. ~~ Dalai Lama
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. ~~ Jesus of Nazareth