In the USA, religious freedom is protected under the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
But not everyone who writes for IQ is from the USA. Am I really safe to state my religious beliefs here? Is it possible that when we argue, we are in truth bending the idea of religious freedom? Also, I wish to point out that being religious and being spiritual may be two different things- both needing respect.
I thought at the very least, this might be something to just think about.
Blessings and Love, Jaianniah
I'll take a stab at this, since it's such a gem of a question. I might be getting your meaning wrong, though.
Undoubtedly you've seen some of the scuffles that have occurred here when people with certain "points of view" have come to the site, and expressed their views. Many of them are no longer here. They are no longer here, not because we have attacked them, but because they could not consider an alternate point of view.
To make this a more concrete discussion, I will provide a specific, contrived example (without calling anyone out specifically).
A new user comes to the website. His user name is BornAgain. He is enthusiastic about his faith, and wants to share it with everyone on the site. In addition, he wants everyone to become born again with him. He takes the word of the Bible literally, so when it says "No one gets to the Father except through me," he interprets that to mean that he must accept Jesus Christ as his savior in order to get to heaven, and that he must "encourage" others to do the same.
BornAgain posts an answer about his faith, and a "spirited debate" ensues. :) On the one side is "BornAgain," who states that his point of view is the only correct one. On the other side is someone else who says, "Well, maybe your point of view is just one in a continuum." BornAgain can't accept this, and leaves, moving to a Christian forum where there are people more sympathetic to his literal interpretation.
BornAgain left, because it was his choice to leave. Nobody forced him to leave.
I have never seen anyone's faith overtly attacked on this website. To the contrary, people have gone out of their way to discuss things in a very civilized fashion. I don't believe that discussing one's personal convictions with others impinges on their rights, nor do I feel that anyone has ever forced their views on someone else. InwardQuest embraces religious freedom, in all its forms.
Personally, I believe that the Bible is an allegory, for the most part. Jesus always taught by using parables. When he went into the temple and turned over the tables of the money changers, his point wasn't that you should go into the shops and break their cash registers. The Bible was never meant to be taken literally. It is a book filled with profound wisdom, but that wisdom is only available to those who read it, and carefully reflect on what the words mean for their own life.
It is this free exchange of ideas, without the threat, intimidation or coercion that seems to be so prevalent in other countries, that is the very essence of religious freedom.
You seem to be using the terms religion and spirituality interchangeably. I find them to be quite distinct subjects actually.
I know many people who say they are religious and they seem far from spiritual to me, and there are many others (myself included) who might dare to call themselves spiritual but they are certainly not religious.
I'm not from the USA but I have visited on a few occasions and I have to say that, probably with the exception of parts of California, I feel considerably freer expressing my beliefs outside the USA than in it :)
Also, something to think about perhaps? :)
answered 28 Jun '11, 14:34
Well, this is quite the question. And it sounds very similar to Wades question yesterday.
When I first read the title I for sure thought that it was from a new IQ visitor.
1) Jai, you have been here for a while, I am pretty sure it's too late to ask this question for we all are pretty sure where you stand religiously. As Stingray said, spiritually is another story.
2) Test? I am lost on this part. These tests are happening without me I am sure. As I said yesterday only the one being "tested" can answer that. I feel no tests here whatsoever.
3) It might be me but I really do not see any arguing here. We can see differences in cultures and certain belief systems but I honestly do not see anyone fighting about it. This s the most sane and considerate bunch of people I know :)) Some people might or might not be able to notice that I...Do not believe in God, religion, or Government, but I respect all different ideas and I wish not to impose any of my ideas on anyone.
4) Safe? This one really has me confused. Like I said, your Christian viewpoints are made very clear here. Are you afraid for your safety, like being physically hurt? As I type this it dawned on me that this might be yet another White Tiger question and I hope it is not, but you would be honest about that...right? Why would anyone have fear on a spiritual online community?
Jai, this question seems to point out our differences more than it unites us and I hope you find the answer to the TRUE question that you are looking for, for I feel there is another issue beneath the surface of your question.
I know we have pretty different belief systems but I love you and respect you the same. We have no reason for fear.
Much Love, Michael
answered 28 Jun '11, 15:09
Are you big on practical criticism, if yes, then you are safe! Are you open minded, and flexible in your thinking? Are you respectful of others’ religious, and spiritual beliefs, even if it differs from your, then, you are safe?
In my opinion, Religion and Spirituality goes hand in hand, even if it differs, and we cannot avoid the controversy of this type of politics in our society. Nonetheless, we all have free speech, and it is our responsibility to assert ourselves with dignity, and respect, notwithstanding due respect for others, regardless of their religion, and spiritual beliefs.
My motto is: “Everyone is right, no one is wrong, we are all coming from a different place in our spirituality; so let us all learn respectfully to agree, to disagree!
answered 03 Jul '11, 03:55
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