“It’s never a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don’t really know.” Agree or disagree?
This reminds me of a conversation with my daughter last year, age 5. She goes to a Church of England school where they are quite hot on discussing God. I had already been slightly startled when we were wandering through a department school a month or so earlier, a spider ran across the floor and, anticipating her screams I quickly told her to leave it alone and not squash it.
“Oh no”, she said earnestly. “I would never squash one of God’s creatures”.
I have never been ‘into’ religion. I went to C of E school’s, I had religious studies and as a Brownie, I went to church once a month in the hopes that it would be my turn to carry the flag. I concluded early on, possibly with very little thought involved, that religion seemed to be the basis for a lot of war, terrorising others and being over judgemental. I liked attending church (and chapel every Sunday at school) for the singing, but the sermonising was quite off putting – I never have been one for lectures.
As I have grown up (slightly) I have come to understand that there are degrees of belief, degrees of fanaticism. I know there are viewpoints on the whole ‘religion causes war’ issue and that a simple summation of such a complex issue is just impossible.
And that’s the problem. There is no answer. There is no summation or conclusion to reach. There are only opinions. A lot of them.
I believe in treating other people the way you want to be treated. I don’t agree with causing hurt or pain to people or animals. I don’t see the need to mock other people for their viewpoint. Basically, I consider myself to be a good person. If you like, you could say that I am a good Christian, in that I believe actions and intentions. Good behaviour. Which coincides with the morality taught by the 10 commandments – I don’t steal, I try not to lie and I have not committed adultery or murder recently.
I just don’t see the need to attend a church to do it.
Perhaps I am lazy. The idea of disliking someone because of their religion seems like a lot of effort to me. First of all I would have to find out what their religion was. Then I would need to find out about that religion and find something to dislike about it. After all, I can’t just not like someone without an actual reason. So – a lot of effort! Tch.
Let me live my life my way, I will let you live yours your way (so long as no one gets hurt – always a qualifier). Simple.
Except, it isn’t simple. I know that if I was to mention this to anyone else, it would become a discussion. Probably a long one. And until you have had that discussion with someone – anyone, a close friend, a family member – you don’t know how they are going to react and whether a simple comment is going to become the most offensive thing you have ever said to them ever!
And as a subject that doesn’t really excite me, it isn’t something I can get passionate enough about to make a good argument. So – best not to start the conversation in the first place.
Anyway – back to that chat with my 5 year old.
MM1 – Mummy, I am a Christian.
Me – Are you?
MM1 – Yes, at school I learnt that I am a Christian because I go to church every Sunday.
Me – No you don’t. So, what is a Christian?
MM1 – A human. I am a human, so I am a Christian.
Me – And what if you are not a Christian?
MM1 – Then you are a gremlin. My teacher said so.
Go on – who wants to argue with a 5 year old?