Monday, April 25, 2011

Respecting Relgious Deities and Figures


I was brought up to respect and revere every religious figure and never make fun of them, dishonor or disregard them in anyway.  My parents taught me that no matter what the religion was, whether I agreed with the beliefs or not, they had esteemed figures who were considered either prophets, Gods, or sons of Gods, and that these admired figures should always be respected… no matter how different they were to my own beliefs. Granted my parents disagreed with many religious ideologies or stories and sometimes talked about how different they were to their own, but they never accepted me disrespecting their religious figures.
I have seen many cartoons about the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, Moses, Mohammad, Ganesh, Buddha and all the others and I honestly cringe every time I look at them…This is coming from a person who was brought up believing that Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, Moses, Mohammad and other Quranic/Biblical prophets, those honorable faces, should not even be shown in movies or pictures or any drawings. It is a sign of reverence as they are considered the purest of all humankind…. (But this is in Islam and of course does not have to apply to other religions).
And thus, I find it extremely difficult to understand how people could make fun of religious figures, draw cartoons about them or belittle them in any way or form. I have had many a discussion with my husband about this as we seem to disagree on the extent of Freedom of Speech… I am not against freedom of speech…or freedom of opinion…. not in the slightest…
BUT what I am against is ABUSING that freedom… that right… disregarding others and their beliefs…
Everyone has the right to say whatever they thought and believed… I believe that… but I also believe in respecting other people’s beliefs…. Granted people have a right to not believe in any religious figure… any religion… that is their right… their prerogative… I have no problem with that… I respect that…
BUT to me, if I respected people who do not believe in any of these religions and respected their opinion and beliefs, should they respect my beliefs as well?   If I respected the religions of others, should I expect the same respect as well?
I love Holy Places… no matter which religion they belong to as I am a genuine believer that ANY Temple, Church, Synagogue or Mosque is a HOLY place and offers me some peace and tranquility. I have visited many of these Holy buildings and have prayed in them, lit candles, burned incense… etc. and loved it… As my very wise blog friend Paula Devi, http://everydayradiance.blogspot.com/,  said, "A sacred space is sacred ground - there are no borders. If it's sacred to one person it is sacred to humankind.

 I would never make fun of any deity, any religious or revered figure... I do not make fun of Animism, Voodooism, Greek Mythology or Roman or Pharonic Gods... I find them fascinating. 
And therefore, I find it difficult to understand where people come from when they make fun of other people’s deities or religious figures or just pure beliefs…
To me this just creates more divisions… more hatred… more wars… Something this world has had enough of... Why can’t we all just respect one another and just accept that there are billions of people on this Earth who all have different beliefs and yet would be able to, with a little acceptance and respect, live together harmoniously…
We can all respect each other’s beliefs even if we disagreed with them or did not believe in them.

Just live and let live, I say!

1 comment:

paula devi said...

Hi Tabouleh, May your words, my words and like-minded others words fly on the wind and find places in every heart.
Everytime it rains, I say outloud, "thank you showers of blessings - fall on every one and nurture their seeds of kindness."

sweet sister Tabouleh, thank you for the mention.