Respect for Our Faiths

Although I disagree personally with covering my head and the reasoning behind it according to Islamic faith, if I were to visit a mosque for educational purposes I still would do that because it means so much to them. In the same way I would not refuse to kneel at a Catholic church (like my fiance’s) even though I don’t see the point in it, nor would I refuse to recite the prayer involving the saints although I do not believe in praying to saints. I think everyone should visit different places of worship if they can as well as read at least some portion of their creeds. That way, people can get a better understanding of everyone’s motives, importance, and ideals. I have read quite a lot of the Quran, many different versions of the bible, the creeds of Confucianism, buddhism, and Taoism. I am not swayed from my Christian beliefs in any way, nor do I feel as though my religion is being put down by learning their doctrines and experiencing them out of respect. My soul is not connected to it, so it does not mean I am adhering or truly practicing their ways.
Another example: I have known Islamic men and women to take part in non-Islamic, Christian services out of respect for attending the church. They were not converted, they did not feel connected to it, but they did it out of respect for their Christian friends and their place of worship. No, not every Muslim is like that. In the same way, not every Christian believes it’s right to do that too. But we should not let the ideals of extremists, whom often take the points of their religion too far from their actual meanings, get in the way of our respect for our faith and for others’ faiths.
I would also like to add that many multi-cultural classes not only have students study and discuss different cultural and religious ideals in-depth, but they also encourage trying on certain meaningful and important attire as expected by such cultures and religions. It has nothing to do with “forcing” students to conform to anything, but to help the students really understand why and how these things are worn. For that matter, I have attended such a class that not only had us try on and report about the clothing, but also cooking and eating the foods, and reading sections of religious texts and prayers. Of course, their architecture and places of worship came up as well. Not a single one of us was converted, now did we feel we were forced to do anything. We went into the class with open minds, excited to learn about other people and their practices, and came out with more information about those who live on this planet. It’s fun to learn about these things and to partake in it. Just because those seriously rooted in the religion/culture see it as necessary and important, it doesn’t mean we have to.

Honestly think about it: does eating Indian food, wearing Hamsas on our jewelry (I swear, it’s everywhere and on everything), and doing yoga mean we are becoming Hindus or Buddhists? No, of course not.

Simultaneously, many people where crosses and cross patterns on their clothing and in their jewelry and go to church, but it sure doesn’t make them Christians.

Notice the snarkiness right at the end there.

My point is this: just because there are religious extremists out there who ruin it for everyone doesn’t mean we should adhere whole heartedly to the same level of thinking in our own religion when reacting to others.’ Honestly, let’s get over ourselves. What you believe and what you do for God is between you and God, not between you and 7 billion other people. They’ll either believe you, or not, or they won’t even care either way. You shouldn’t be so concerned about what they have between themselves and God either. What you do with Him or not is on you; quit trying to cop-out and make others a part of it.

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