May 2, 2012

Can one follow two conflicting systems of belief?

Posing the question as to whether one can hold two conflicting systems of belief, the answer in all likelihood would be no because it would be difficult for someone to be both Muslim and Christian or Jewish and Christian or any other combination of belief systems. We are born to parents who hold a particular view and as we grow up we follow in their footsteps. We are too young to choose and not given a choice and we would not know better anyway. However, as a psychologist told me once, when a child is three or four he must know who he is; he has an identity. He must be able to identify with other people. He will know he goes to church on Sundays. He will grow up with the word of Jesus. His faith will be dear to him and no one will be able to penetrate the fabric of his belief. The same is true for people of other faiths.

Practice humility

Having said that, parents are human beings and they have prejudices and will look at the downside of other religions to make them feel more secure as to where they are. You can’t tamper with a man’s faith, and should not even try. If you do you’d better have a big net under him. The question that really should be asked and answered with honesty is whether we can follow what we have been taught by our parents and still have a large enough heart to include the culture and religious traditions of people of other faiths. Some of us become arrogant in our belief that we are the number one religion. So what? What is number one? That one lot of people is better than another? Instead of following the actions of the prophets we blow our own horns. We are in fact arrogant and treat people less fortunate than ourselves with disdain. So the question remains: would you be able to go to your own place of worship and also be able to appreciate someone elses faith?

Love a stranger

When you become all embracing it is easier to love than to hate. It uses less energy and you feel good when you have no malice towards others. You also learn humility which will make you a much better person. When you are interested in others they become interested in you. When you love others they don’t’ harm you. We are all people. What does it matter whether we go to temple or the mosque? We all want to do well in God’s eyes and are all after the same thing. Not one of us is more special than the other; we are all God’s creation.

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