One of the most common statements some of the religious men and women make is this,
“Our religion is the only religion that teaches the value of life,” and to beef it up, they add a lie, “Other religions don’t teach this.” Let me assure you, it is not the religion, any religion for that matter; it’s the loose mouth of the clergy that is speaking. Here are a few examples;
I was sitting in the First Baptist Church of Dallas listening to Pastor Robert Jeffress blurting out,
“Only Christianity teaches the purpose of life and no religion, not a single one teaches that.” How does he know about other religions, each one takes years to understand. My mind was running at 100 MPH, and started making mental notes how other faiths like Bahai, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Sikh, and others have clearly defined goals like Christianity… the poor pastor was giving it to his congregation and they were swallowing it, including Mayor Tom Leppert who was sitting in the row in front of me. By the way, this is the problem with a few clergy; lack of integrity. So, any clergy that puts down other religion is lying to you, just ignore him or her for your own sake.
I was in Frisco Mosque for a Friday Sermon, Imam Nabeel Elibiary was blurting out the same nonsense, he was quoting some report about AIDS in Africa, and says with a sheepish smile that Muslims don’t have AIDS because Muslims don’t indulge in extra-marital affairs or gay sex. How ignorant can one be? I looked around; many of my Medical Doctors friends were raising their eyebrows but said nothing. I wrote about it and of course, Muslims, like people of other faiths in general and Christianity in particular, don’t question the clergy. This is what causes one to perpetuate lies.
It is just not Christians and Muslims; you will find them in all groups. Nearly two decades ago, the Hindu Health Minister of India spoke to the All American Physicians from India association in Atlanta; he made the same stupid declaration that India does not have Aids to some 5000 Indian Doctors.
All religions are indeed beautiful; it is their salesmen that fudge their religions for gains. Years ago, while dropping off my daughter at the Baptist Church on Lavon Road in Garland, I said to her, to listen to the Pastor, but if he denigrates other religions, don’t listen to him, listen to your Dad instead, all religions are beautiful. She was in her early teens and said, “Dad, if he does not say his church is superior, why would people go to his church and pay him the money? “ That was profound. It is all about the money and influence! By the way, I took my kids to every place of worship for them to value all faiths and not become bigots when they grow up, they can run for any public office as they are inclusive in their own way.
If you hear any sermon anywhere where they are denigrating the other, question the integrity of the speaker – what do you know? Ask the Pastor, Pundit, Rabbi, Imam, Shaman, Gyani or whoever that person is. If you have learned bias towards others, did you learn from hearsay, gossip, parents, teacher, friends, and place of worship… did you verify it or did you swallow it?
If you free yourselves from bias towards any one, you’ll enjoy your life, you would be free.
Center for Pluralism.