Saturday, April 16, 2005

Bert B.

I am a person of faith. I am a Unitarian Universalist. I am moved by the divine presence when and as I experience it and honor that experience and its interpretation in others. In my church we search for the truth in general but most importantly the truths about our existence and our religious experience. And yet we agree that in this search we will not always agree, if only because we start from different places and have had different experiences.

Clearly we Unitarian Universalists along with Religious Liberals of all faiths are more respectful of faith than those who contend that those whose faiths are different than their own have either no faith or faith that is inferior. Who is more hostle to faith, those who reject the faiths of most of mankind in favor of their own or those who see the diversity of faiths as a resource for their own spiritual growth? I know that most people who are Hindu have the right faith for themselves, and that the same is true for Taoists, Buddhists, Jews, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians of whatever denomination, Bahais, Animists and Pagans. There are of course some who are not in the faith that will work best for them , but hopefully they will find the one that suits them sooner rather than later.

There is one religious attitude of which I am not very tolerant. That is the belief held by some that they have the correct answer and that those who hold otherwise are wrong and even evil. History teaches that this is a source of a good portion of the evil that people do to each other.

Personally I am moved by what I find in Buddhism and it aids me in my Unitarian Universalist faith. The experience of meditation which helps to experience -- at least relatively speaking -- an ego-less state. I am convinced that I am part of the Universe, nothing more nor less so such meditation brings me closer to a true understanding of what is true but ineffable. I feel that we could all use a bit more of the contemplative approach to life, whether in prayer, meditation or certain meditative practices and religious rituals.

It is in faith communities that we have a chance to take care of each other. If we do a good enough job of this we will be motivated to take care of people in the wider community and work toward a more just, compassionate and equitable world.

I am not hostile to faith.

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