Why is it that most tend to quickly proclaim what religion they hold to?
It is a strange concept, when added to the notion of religion. What makes you visibly religious? What makes anyone visibly religious? There is an old meme that circled around for a while that tickled my fancy – “My Dear, religion is like a penis. It’s a perfectly fine thing for one to have and take pride in, but when one takes it out and waves it in my face we have a problem.” I always found it funny, and easy to relate to.
I was raised mostly in a Southern Baptist setting. If you don’t know what that is… Imagine a five-foot-five, balding and portly gentleman screaming about hell-fire and brimstone and throwing his hands in the air as he turns red in the face.
Pictured it yet?
That’s about as close to Southern Baptist as I can describe.
In any case – When someone tells me what their religious preferences are, I generally just smile and nod. It’s a courtesy gesture. A basic, human thing. I don’t, however, tend to offer back what I believe.
I don’t quite identify with any true concept of religion. It is precisely that reason that I hold my tongue. My beliefs are many, and many between. At one point, I was convinced that I believed in just the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. At another point in my life, I believed in Pastafarianism. (I’m only joking here!) And even still, at another point, I leaned towards Krishnaism (or Krisnaism). Krishnaism was honestly a high point, in my life. When I began venerating and actively pursuing the studies of Krishna and his teachings, I became more and more calm and at peace with my life. After a while, I stopped actively seeking his teachings, and leaned more towards a purely open mind. The Universe is wide and wild, and within this cosmos is an untold amount of religion and spiritual history. Why limit oneself to studying and knowing of only one thing? Why not learn and seek to understand all religions and spiritual teachings? Naturally, it would take a lifetime and then some to know everything – but to learn and grow…that should be the goal of anyone’s life!
In short, I find it fascinating to learn and understand what others believe in. But I don’t actively ask. Nor will I tell anyone my beliefs openly, save for a select few – and here. I have learned, in my short walk of life thus far, that people are too quick to judge. Religion and spirituality are very weighty topics, overall. While the world is slowly coming to be more open minded, there are still those that wish to simply keep their beliefs behind their eyes and let it be. On the other hand, there are people that will actively flash their religious cards and point to the neon sign above their head that labels them as swaying to whatever religion it is they hold to. What tends to bother me – and I’m sure I’m not alone in this – is when someone shoves their religion in my face. “I believe this, so you have to!”
No… I don’t. Nor does anyone else, unless they choose to.
It’s that sort of closed-mindedness that irks me to no end.
When someone doesn’t actively waive their flag of spirituality or religious preferences, then I’m more apt to be just as open minded towards them as they are to me. No matter the person, it’s always good to be respectful of their opinions and thoughts. Even if you don’t agree!
“An ye harm none, ye do as ye will.”