A friend suggests that we need to create a place for people to share their beliefs — a kind of religious wiki that could help nail down common-ground faith statements. That may be impossible considering the lines drawn in the sand by so many different Sneetches on the beaches of institutionalized belief. But I see what he’s getting at — an opportunity to consider who we are as spiritual beings instead of simply railing against the weaknesses of whatever it is that we’re not. So here’s a beginning, some thoughts from my head on the nature of belief:
Leaving room for faith is faith enough. I don’t have to know anything. I only need to consider the possibility. That’s where faith begins — with an honest question. It grows as I seek an answer (not, as so many believe, when I claim to have arrived).
As far as I can tell, most world religions have man and woman as creations of a higher power. That puts each of us at the same starting line. No man is better equipped to know God than I, and I have no greater access to truth than my neighbor. Any religion that treats others as objects — whether they be child, elderly, man, woman, colored, white, criminal, clean, homosexual, straight, rich, poor, illiterate, sophisticate, whatever — is a false religion.
Tolerance may be politically expedient and even necessary, but it is cheap compared to love. Intelligence, dexterity, riches, and influence don’t matter for anything if I’m unwilling or unable to love.
When wronged, I want revenge. But an eye for an eye compounds the hurt and blinds us both. Humility demands no reparations. And if the wrong-doer experiences remorse, coming to me in humility, I have lost an enemy and found a friend.
An eye for an eye compounds the hurt and blinds us both.