My goodness, Brown has a sense of humor about himself too!
I fully expect that I’m going to confuse some folks with this topic. Normally, I try and avoid religion as a subject like the plague, but I told you I’m not holding back this year, so let’s just get this out of the way now.
I’d say about 90% of the people I interact with on a daily basis are of the Christian faith. Some are “hardcore” Christians, some are simply aligning themselves because it’s how they grew up. These are people that range from my wife’s family to my best friends to people in grocery stores. I’ve attended church services before, both Protestant and Catholic. I’ve seen people so touched by what they perceive as God’s message they’ve been reduced to tears, and I’ve seen people out and out reject the concept of God and religion all together.
Here’s the thing, both of those reactions and everything in between are perfectly okay and legit.
This post isn’t me telling people what they can or can’t believe. This post isn’t me making fun of people that believe or admonishing those that don’t. What I’m trying to get across is, no matter what you believe, that’s what YOU believe and it’s not for anyone else to cram their thoughts in your face or for you to do that to them.
I’ve got a couple of close friends that I happen to know are deeply religious people. They attend Church, they tithe, they pray, all of the things that are asked for in their daily lives by their scripture. I respect these guys because they don’t impress on me their beliefs, they don’t evangelize, they don’t go around inserting God and Jesus into every discussion. At the same time, they have no problem standing up and defending those that do. I understand where they are coming from, I really do. People who feel the need to ram religion down your throat happen to share the same religion and what right do I have to tell them they can’t celebrate that fact?
That’s the problem. There’s a fine line between celebrating your love for your own creed, and force feeding it to everyone around you. There’s a site called stfubelievers.tumblr.com, and it’s meant to poke fun at people who insert religion into everyday items. It’s intent is to be humorous, but it does,what I feel, is a good job at highlighting the ridiculous nature of the people I’m asking to kindly shut up.
No one has a problem with you loving God. I have a problem with you feeling the need to remind me on an hourly basis about it or judge my thoughts because they’re different. Is it insecurity? Is it that you need OTHER people to justify your belief for you? You can’t repeat the same concept over and over and then get offended when someone points out your absurd obsession. If I flooded your media and conversations with messages praising the glory of english muffins, after a certain amount of time, you might start thinking “what is it with this guy and english muffins? I like english muffins, but this is ridiculous”. Look, I love english muffins, I LOVE THEM. I have one every morning. That doesn’t mean people who like bagels, or toast, or cereal or fruit or nothing at all are wrong for their breakfast choices.
The point I’m trying to make is really multi-fold. First, I’m not saying you shouldn’t believe in whatever you believe. I’m also not saying you shouldn’t be proud or happy of that fact. You should be proud and you should practice it because it’s YOUR belief. Secondly, your beliefs are something that should be personal. There’s no need for you to broadcast your personal feelings to the world, let alone on a daily basis. Third, you’re entitled to believe what you want, no matter how strongly that is. However, everyone around you is entitled to believe what they believe, and it isn’t up to you to tell them they’re wrong or they’re being judged for it. Fourth, don’t use your belief system as a shield against logic. Think about a topic all the way through prior to arguing against or for it with God or a book as your defense. Fifth, all religions, ALL OF THEM, boil down to the same message: be a good person because good things happen to good people. No religion on the planet strays from that core concept.
So, if you are a believer in Vishnu, Jesus, Allah, Jehovah, Buddha, Ra, Yahweh or the Fonz, remember, you’re only real charter in life is to be a good person. So, be a good person and help others that are less fortunate than you with the basic things they’ll need: food, shelter, and clothing. We can all do that without pissing each other off, can’t we?
EDIT: My (Big's) response is in the comments, if anybody cares, or even remembers who i am.