Last week’s radio silence was brought to you by dial-up Internet. I was at my folks’ home in Colorado and dial-up just wasn’t agreeing with WordPress. Oh, well, I have returned and I’m all ready to chit-chat.
First up: I’ve been thinking a lot about the zealots who tried to disrupt the opening prayer in the Senate chamber last week. (They did so because a Hindu cleric was offering the prayer.) Actually, I’ve been thinking more about all the blog posts I’ve read since. We can set aside the religious freedom question. I’ve finally accepted that while I think religious freedom means the freedom of anyone to practice any religion, to many it means “the freedom of everyone to practice only one religion, which just happens to be mine.”
But this leads to a question, which I hope others are willing to grapple with. As an agnostic, this just doesn’t make sense to me. Why does one religion have to be the only one that’s right?
I know that The Truth should be all Universal and such, but the fact is that there’s not much that’s universal about human beings. The Japanese have a totally different outlook on the world because their culture, their history, and their geography are all radically different from, say, a Bedouin in the desert or a smalltown girl in Colorado. I’m not saying there are no commonalities, I’m saying that the differences are equally important. Why would people see God in the same way when they see so much else differently?
Watch this video and see if you see what I do.
This makes no sense to me, and it weirds me out, because a totally different cultural sensibility came up with it. But that doesn’t make it wrong; for all I know, this teaches language to Japanese folk better than anything else does.
So tell me. Why does one person’s interpretation of the Eternal Reality have to be the same as another’s? Isn’t it just possible that God reveals that reality to different people in different ways? Isn’t it possible that no religion needs to conquer another, either physically or spiritually? If someone needs an enemy (even, or especially, in spiritual matters) to know who they are, who are they really?