Thinky thoughts: religion
First caveat: This was in part inspired by an event that I am still not over a few years ago, where someone who talked a good Christian game, did something really awful involving my husband and myself, and did it unapologetically and without any sense of the irony that comes with doing something totally against what he claims to be.
Second caveat: I in no way assume Christians are generally or mostly not living their religion.
So those two things said, I got to thinking about the first event yesterday and then moved on to wondering how hard it is to live your religion. I see a lot of Christians who don’t act very Christian, as I understand the Bible (admittedly I’m not super well-versed as many). I see a lot of people who break the commandments and who also don’t follow the general habits of living taught by Christ. I wondered if that’s because those things are inconvenient, or if it’s so tough to actually do the things the Bible tells them, or if it’s that they don’t believe everything in the Bible, and if they are selective. Or if, perhaps, they follow different interpretations of the Bible, or different versions (obviously the Catholic Bible is different from the Protestant Bible, for instance.) I suppose there are other options as well, that I’m not thinking of.
So that let me to wonder then, how difficult is it for other people to live their religions? I’m far more familiar with Christianity than any other religion, so I have no clue on other people. And then, within every religion, there seems to be variations of orthodoxy and so on.
But that doesn’t answer the question–how hard is it to live their religion? There are food requirements of course, but also behavioral, clothing, and so on. What if you don’t want to do things? Do you do it anyway? Do you do as told or select the bits that make best sense to you (and if I were religious, I know I’d fall in this last camp).
My point it, I suppose, is that I’m wondering how fundamental religion is in any given person’s life, and how many find it difficult to follow their religion, and what happens in a person’s mind when they break their religion’s tenets (to bring this back to the first caveat–did he even CARE?) This both me being a human and wondering, and me being a writer and wondering.
Then I wonder, for instance right now, how hard it is to live your religion if you’re Muslim. Because you will very likely get crap from somebody for just appearing to be Muslim. So do you you change? Do you avoid places or people? Do you alter your appearance? Do you let certain religious obligations slide? And of course, the same questions could be asked of Jews in history and now, depending on location, and so on.
Please be aware in this post that I’m not at all meaning to be controversial or be judgey. I’m seriously wondering. I am not a religious person. I can’t answer these questions. I can’t really posit a legitimate answer. I’m wondering if anyone out there has thoughts, based on personal or observational experience.