I saw this picture on Facebook today, which I’m putting after a jump to avoid haters/morons/anyone too lazy to click something.
That’s right. Not a comment about “never forget,” whatever that means.
To be INCREDIBLY clear – I believe that remembrance is a very important thing, and that the day in question was awful. I included musings on 9/11 and encouragement related to remembrance of the victims in the yoga class I taught yesterday, so don’t get all huffy thinking that this is some sort of “it was 12 years ago, lay off” thing. It’s definitely not.
The thing is, though, that I see a LOT of hate related to certain non-Christian religions, especially where I live. It’s challenging, and something that Jay and I talk about often when we talk about 1. how we want to live our lives, and 2. how we want to raise children (eventually, this isn’t THAT kind of post either).
I’m very intentional about using the word hate, too. It can be masked as intolerance, or ignorance, or plain redneckery, but really it’s hate. The funny thing is, sometimes it comes from people who are all “JESUS is CHASING YOU! Find him! Let him FIX your life!” Those people have ALL the answers, but when it comes to really loving others, in a tolerant, peaceful, kind way – they have no clue where to even start.
I worked under a counselor once – a LICENSED COUNSELOR WORKING IN A SECULAR HOSPITAL who tried to convince me that all people who practice the Islamic faith are “bred to hate Americans.” Um. Winner for broadest sweeping statement about a group of people you know nothing about? Since this person was 1. my boss and 2. someone I needed references from, I didn’t say anything, and I HATED not saying anything. Besides the silliness of the statement coupled with the fact that this person has LITERALLY never left the state (the actual meaning of the word, not me being dramatic) for more than a week (she told me), it was just SAD to think that this human who had a large client base of people on which to spread knowledge was choosing to use this power to spread ignorance and hate, not love and encouragement.
The strife in the world right now (Middle East notably, but everywhere, in some way or another) doesn’t have to do with the fact that more people aren’t Christian.
In my very tiny, humble opinion, the problem with a lot of the world (simplistically, don’t get all complex, now) is that we mostly think we’re right, we have precious little desire to understand others, and sweeping generalizations are our JAM. This applies to other countries as well – they don’t like us for sweeping reasons, and we’re DAMN good at not playing nice with others.
Also maybe that there isn’t more wine, cheese, yoga, and naptime at important world meetings?
When we look at world religions, there are vast similarities – maybe more similarities than there are differences. The details vary, but the main points – be good, follow the rules, higher power – they’re all the same. Truthfully, not a single person KNOWS what happens after we die – no matter what faith we claim, we are operating on faith, and to admonish someone for having a different faith than you do is a waste of everyone’s time. Time that could be spent actually acting on the faith you claim (whatever you do for the least of these…), loving as the prophets did (whichever of these you feel the most connected to – pick Mother Teresa if no one else works for ya), and MINDING YOUR OWN DAMN BUSINESS.
I believe very firmly that the best way to honor victims of any act of terror (religiously-driven or not) is to work hard to make this world a better place than it was yesterday, not to continuously advocate a “boot in your ass” mentality that fuels hate.
Have a lovely day, and try not to waste your time on hate and ignorance. Plenty of people are going to do that, so don’t be one of them.
Love might actually win if more people acted out of love, you know.