I was reading an article that made me think of a question; Is being dedicated to your spiritual beliefs getting in the way of basic human rights, or, are the desires for basic human rights stopping people from being fully dedicated to their spiritual beliefs?
This world is full of different spiritual beliefs, Christianity, Judaism, Islamic, Hinduism, Paganism, on and on with the "isms", and not all of them have the same, for lack of better term, "rules" to follow. Now, let's scrap this down to the bare skinny of the situation. Every spiritual practice has a DOGMA to it, and sort of spiritually moral rule. They are not all the same by no means, however, those that fully dedicate themselves to that spiritual practice of choice have also dedicated themselves to that spiritual moral rule or rules. Now, here is where it gets tricky, when someone follows the "rules" of their spiritual practice, and it isn't something that is widely accepted, or even liked, or maybe it goes against the basics of humanity all together, why are they criticized?
(I'm sure I'm gonna get yelled out for that question...where's that pesky pot, I got more stirring to do)
In truth, IF the rule they followed from their spirituality was say, plant a flower each week in a bare spot on the grass, most of the world would be awww, yippie, how lovely. However, if that spiritual rule was, rip each flower from the ground on the sundown of the Sabbath, every one would be oh god, you jerk. However, both were following and dedicating themselves to their spiritual beliefs, who judges who is right and who is wrong?
Their Deity, and only their Deity, the one they follow, and are following that spiritual rule for?
Yea, chew on that while I serve this to you...
Most people need spiritual guidance in their lives. When that guidance leads us on a journey to make a choice that may shun you from most of humanity, what do you do?
Easy, don't do it right?
Ok, where's your dedication then? Are you only going to follow spiritual guidance when it's covenant for you? Maybe jump from one spiritual belief to another, hoping you are covering all bases and still making the world happy? Oh, yea, there is that moral thing too right. You're sitting there saying, "duh, morals, if you're a moral person you know better" Ok, who judges morals? Who gave you those morals? Your parents? Where did they get it? Their parents? Where did they get it? Mmmhmmm, yea, someone got those morals from some spiritual guidance somewhere...do the digging, you'll see.The Carib tribe in the West Indies practiced Cannibalism. They believed chewing their enemies and spitting them out was a spiritual way to take in their enemies strength. Was that morally wrong? It was a spiritual practice? A spiritual rule? Guidance from a spiritual leader. Yea, I know, it was wrong, that's why it's illegal now, blah blah...moving on.
Ok, here is my point....
When you follow a spiritual path you're dedicating yourself to that path. Not everything, everyone is going to do in the rules of their spirituality is going to make everyone happy. Not everyone's spiritual practice is going to make everyone happy. However, religious tolerance is something maybe we need to look at in all angles. Take the religion out of politics, it doesn't work. But, don't shun a government official because they choose to pray before a political vote. Or, shun a clerk for making a choice to follow her own teachings personally, and not sign same sex marriage license. She, in turn, asked for the ability to higher someone to sign them in her place. I, personally, think the clerk refusing to sign the marriage license was rude, however, I admire her convictions and I admire her asking to bring on someone in her place that will sign them.
Freedom of religion means ALL religion....and that also means you take the parts of religions you DON'T like and tolerate it.
Now, let's all grab a Coke and sing "Hands Across America"
(song f*cked ya didn't I)