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.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Posted by Kavita (luvikavi) at 3:07 PM .