Many faiths, religions, cultures, etc. believe in God some believe in many Gods.
I walk barefoot with the wind blowing through my hair choosing my own path. I am not ruled by cultural expectations. I enjoy learning about many cultures, faiths and religions. I feel that this allows me to be more open to communication with people from many cultures. I am a Certified Thanatologist. I am learning to become a more in tuned Reiki Healer and Medical Intuitive. In working in these specialties, I will meet many people from many walks of life. I desire to participate in the lives of people from the many cultures that I will meet along my journey. I walk free with no shackles of fear of knowledge to tie me down.
I am Christian and believe in one God. I also believe other faiths follow the same God, but in different ways, the ways of their culture. I have meet people that tell me that learning things anyway other than what was taught in church was summoning the Devil and marking my family for generations to come. To me they are unable to see that God Loves Everyone. Many Christians are intolerant of other religious beliefs. American Christians are becoming more and more intolerant of people that are from different religions. They gawk and gasp if they have to shop beside a Muslim woman wearing a hijab or a burqa in public.
This is not just limited to Christians. For example, Atheists ask people that pray out loud in restaurants to stop praying because it offends them. Some demand that crosses be removed from military headstones in Military Burial Grounds. People should be allowed to have the symbol of their faith on their headstone. If one is of the belief that there is no religion that they will follow, then leave the place where the symbol would be blank. We are a country that stood for religious freedom. To have religious freedom, we need to have religious tolerance of people of all religions not just the ones that follow or do not follow your beliefs.
When I consider this deep topic, I think about other issues that I hear discussed in my own home state that is located in the United States of America’s Southern Bible Belt. I am going to be bold and ask the question that I ponder. When I hear Americans Christians talking about their faith and the fact that they want prayer back in schools and in politics, I have wonder what they really mean. Do they really want prayer or do they only want Christian prayer? If you really want prayer, it needs to be all prayer in all languages, otherwise, you are saying that only one religion matters. This is religious intolerance. I do not believe that God limits his goodness and glory to a specific church. People pray and worship in many religions and languages. Beautiful songs that fill Hymnals came from many types of churches. They were written by people that went through all sorts of trials and happiness to find the song written within their hearts to begin with.
In a perfect world, more people would learn about the history of religion and faith. It is limiting to fear knowledge. I have been told that in exploring other faiths I am seeking the Devil. This is not true. I only seek the heart of God.
It hurts when people say these things. To me they are simply afraid to look beyond their own beliefs. To explore culture and religious history it is important to have a clear understanding of what we ourselves choose to believe or not to believe. We should also be open to the experiences of other cultures so that we can be compassionate toward others. If we go into cross cultural experiences with fear, intolerance and bias, we may feel a need to force our own beliefs on others. I have sat in church and listened to many well intended Preachers doing just that. It is not very comfortable to experience. People get defensive and troubles begin to grow out of these experiences. I seek to share a message of Love and Acceptance in an era that is filled with so much turmoil. It is my hope that people can focus more on each other’s strengths instead of each other’s weaknesses.
I choose to have friends from many cultures. I was in the Army, and I have lived in many places and met many people from different cultures. I learned to accept people as they are. Most every culture has beauty that can be shared. If we share a message of Love and Tolerance then we are showing future generations that Love is the answer. If we share hatred then we teach that hatred is the way and this leads to disharmony, war and increased hate crimes. It is hard to grow up and realize that I have been taught to fear both the good and bad. Everything is a threat to happiness even things that cause too much happiness. I believe God is a much more giving and loving God than the one that I was taught to fear. I am not criticizing church families for doing and believing what they think is right for them. However, it is okay for other people to need and want to continue along the spiritual paths that their cultures taught them.
It would be wrong for me to go into the home as a Reiki Practitioner or Certified Grief Specialist of a family from another culture to work with them on a journey toward healing and expect them to change the way they pray because I choose a different way. If I attend a funeral of a friend within a cross cultural community, I want to be somewhat familiar with their customs and beliefs. God teaches Love.
It is okay to limit one’s own knowledge if that is what one feel the need to do; however, outright attacking others for their desire to learn more about the world is not right. I choose not to live in a bubble. If others don’t agree that is okay with me. Do your life your way. I will continue to follow my heart and let God lead me, not people. I know my heart. I seek to spread a message of compassion and love in the wind of my walk.