Sunday, June 27, 2010

Religous tolerance

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For the longest time, I had little faith that there was a God. I went through many rough patches in high school and the first few years of college. During that time, my belief in God slowly began to diminish. Unlike most people who find God during their times of sorrow and regret, I pushed myself away from him. As I grew older, I realized how crucial religion was to my spirituality.

I was born and raised a Hindu, but found myself growing apart from it. I never took the time to understand this religion I was born into. However, I found that as I grew older, the more I needed my religion as a guide. I always believed that when it came to religion, it should be a guiding mechanism, and not as a control.

One of my associates is also going through the same thing with her religion Christianity. One day we started talking, and she started to question my religion, and I told her how much I knew. I was honest, and said I was still learning about Hinduism.

She then went on to tell me that America needed to go back to Christian roots in order to be saved by God, and the only way was through Christ. Inside I felt overly offended because for someone who is not Christian, I felt attacked. Because I did not believe in Christ, I was indirectly told that I would not be "saved" I kindly informed her that when the country was founded, it was found on the basis that church and state are separate (of course in today's political arena, we know that is NOT true). She retorted that the country was founded by Christian beliefs, and part of me knew that wasn't true. I remember reading somewhere that they were deists, and did not let the bible control what was written in the constitution. I realize that there was a chance I could be wrong. Still, even if they were true Christians, they were also free thinkers, and established in the constitution the separation of church and state. I felt the urge to debate her, but I felt it would have been a loosing battle.

The air between us started to get tense. Inside, I had so much I wanted to say, but I did not want to be disrespectful to her beliefs, even though I felt she did not show the same acceptance towards mine. I admired her strong beliefs in her religion, but I felt that she was intolerant to those who did not believe in Christ. I was always taught by my elders that it is a duty to respect your religion as well as other people's religion.

There are many paths to God I have found, and the path you choose is up to you, I believe. From that rigid conversation with my co-worker, I found the need to study other religions as well as my own. Religious tolerance is something I highly believe in, and in order to be tolerant, the first step is to first learn about those beliefs that are not similar to yours.


7 comments

imelda said...

i understand what you felt. yes people must be sensitive with other people's faith.

vange said...

Your coworker makes me angry.

Kavita (luvikavi) said...

I know... I felt the same way too

but I didn't want to get to that same level by debating religion. I believe people have their own choice to believe who they want to believe and follow. It is not anyone's right to tell me that my religion is wrong which is what I felt I was being told.

Patricia Rockwell said...

It is for this unfortunate experience that people are advised not to discuss politics or religion in polite conversation. Your initial goal--to be tolerant--is a very good one and your friend could learn a lot from you. I hope you will not give up on having intense meaningful discussions, just be careful who you choose to have those discussions with.

Kavita (luvikavi) said...

Thanks for your comment Patricia, and you are absolutely right. Topics like politics and religion are best left out of polite conversation. It also depends on the type of people you are around. Some may be narrow minded and stubborn to accept thoughts not similar to theirs, while others are.

Anonymous said...

I just found your post.
Kudos to you for your composure.
I once worked with a woman in a real estate office.
No one wanted to work with her because in the middle of a conversation she would suddenly up and say "Oh, your such a nice person. It is too bad you are going to hell because you don't believe in Jesus!" She would say that to everyone, even Christians who didn't practice their religion.

For the longest time, I was agnostic. Then I found god again thru a deeply personal experience. I am jewish and have always believed that to get into heaven, just obey God by being a good person and by doing for others, including Tithing of money or if you can't, then Tithing of Time and Caring.

If someone tries disrespecting you thru religion-- WALK AWAY! Don't drag yourself down to their level.

Donnie said...

Kavita, you are young and have very much to learn as most people your age. I'm a christian and my bible was written over a 1500 year period two thousand years ago BACK. These men were born at different times in differnet countries. They were given what to write/record thru different means. There are over 25,000 manuscripts to back up the bible including the Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1948. More than any other figure in human history. One other FACT - ALL of the other religous figures are DEAD AND IN THEIR GRAVES. VERIFIABLE! ONLY ONE PERSON - JESUS CHRIST over came the sting of death and the grave - VERIFIABLE! God says in his written word he LOVES YOU- HAS A PURPOSE FOR YOUR LIFE - HE SENT HIS ONLY SON TO PAY THE PENALTY OF ETERNAL DEATH. You and I and everyone else are born into sin. We cannot save ouselves. This is what seperates CHRISTIANITY from all other religons. Christianity is not a religon but a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with GOD! I HAVE ONLY SCRATCHED THE SURFACE HERE, SO IF YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE I WILL BE HAPPY TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS FOR YOU. If I don't know the answer I know others who do. I don't claim to be a know all. Only GOD in Heaven knows ALL as he created everything from eternity past. God says in his WORD, I GIVE YOU A CHOICE TO believe IN MY SON, if you turn away, YOU condem YOURSELF apart from GOD on Judgement Day. This Day is fast approaching, you may die tonight or next week, don't play with eternity, the decision is yours alone.

 

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Kavita (luvikavi)
I am a 25 year old loud mouth by my words yet soft spoken at heart. I have love affairs with new thoughts, ideas, controversies, movies, news,helping those in need and politics. If something tickles my fancy, I will blog profusely about it. The world is filled with nonsense, and writing helps me grasp the reality, whatever that may be.
I graduated from Northern with a Bachelors in Health and Human Sciences, with an emphasis in family and individual development. I hope to GOD my thousand and thousand dollars in loans has prepared me enough for Grad school which I will be venturing off into this Fall of '10. YIKES!
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