Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I Believe

On Sunday mornings, there is a show on BYU TV called "I Believe". Michael and I watch it while we eat breakfast and get ready. I really enjoy it. At first glance, it looks boring. Just a man interviewing another person, every Sunday. But I've learned so much. Let me explain.

This show is an effort for all faiths to understand each other. Each week, the host interviews a leader of a different religion. It's really wonderful. The interviews are in no way mean or tricky. He is not at all trying to catch them in their words. He is a very kind man just searching for understanding. Something I have learned is that every faith has sacred rituals. Every faith has a core belief in kindness to mankind. Every faith is passionate about their beliefs. Every faith does good works.

So, this has had me thinking. Why, oh WHY can't that be enough for everyone? My faith is important to me. And your faith is important to you. Making negative and disrespectful comments about each others beliefs accomplishes zero good. If it offends one when people make rude and ignorant comments about their faith, then isn't it incredibly hypocritical to make rude and ignorant comments about the others faith? Why can someone make a rude joke about a Mormon and it's considered funny. But if someone makes a joke about Jews or Muslims, they're intolerant?  If we all, for the most part, believe in good works and helping our fellow man, then why do those beliefs so quickly fly out the window when someone engages in their sacred rituals?

For example, I was watching one of these episodes on Hinduism last Sunday. Their rituals are completely foreign to me. But what I was watching was beautiful. They were so passionate about their services and wedding ceremonies. I would never even THINK of disrespecting or degrading that, because I can relate to being so passionate about something so special to me. Yet there are some who are so quick to make fun of or question these things. I'm not perfect. We've all at one time or another made fun of something that's important to another. It's just getting so much worse I feel. Nothing is off limits. And it's heart breaking.

So, this show about religion, got me thinking about the political environment. I'm so sick of it. We live in a free country where we are free to think and feel and say whatever we want at that is a huge blessing. But, why must we use that freedom to bring others down? I am 100% for personal opinions. I have strong opinions of my own. And I think it's A-OK to disagree.  But, I by NO MEANS think it is appropriate to bully others in order to make your case. No matter your race, religion, economical background, ethnicity, it's NEVER ok to make fun of someone elses. I'm so sick of seeing people all over facebook talking about "those stupid liberals" or "those stupid conservatives". THESE PEOPLE HAVE FEELINGS. Just because they believe differently from you, it does not mean they are bad or that they should have to explain themselves. I truly pray that we can remember to be kind to one another. I feel deeply and strongly about my political and religious views. And I feel so hurt when they are mocked. So let's stop it. Stop mocking each other. Everyone's views are important. Hiding behind a computer and typing cruel things about people (candidates included) does not make a person any bigger. Quite the opposite actually, it makes a person a coward.

There's my vent that's been building up in me over the past year. Again, of course I've said things I regret and judged people that I regret judging. But, this is my pledge to do better. What our country and our religious congregations need are kind people willing to put their opinions aside and work together. So, I'm going to try harder.


Michael said...

I really agree with this. and I am not perfect either, but ill try to be better, especially during the election season and the BCS ranking system that consistently misranks Oregon.

Unknown said...

Beautiful, Jenni.. Thanks for this.. and I agree with all my heart <3

Kelly said...

Jenni, I agree with this 100%. While at BYU-Idaho I took the World Religions class and it was SO amazing! One of the things I learned was that other religions are parallel to ours; some things are similar to other religions.

I also agree about politics, where for some reason it's totally okay to be rude to someone who doesn't share your opinions/beliefs. I'm very tired of this political season.

Megan and Greg said...

Amen, sister. This is why I basically refuse to talk politics with people.

Danielle said...

I totally agree! I'm not the best...but I too try to do things and say things that aren't offensive. Love you!!!!!!

*Stephanie Lance* said...

Love it! Perfectly said! I totally agree! I hate facebook around election time! I do not like when people are rude! Thanks for posting this! I am also trying to be better! Love you!

Carol and Bruce said...

I am anxious to see that show. I agree with you and think this was a great post. I love it when you vent:)