Sunday, January 23, 2005

And people wonder why I'm interested in this stuff...

For an example of why belief and believers fascinate me so much, I invite you to click over to JP's blog, scroll down a bit to read "Religion as Usual", his take on what is going on in Bangalore, India over a visit of faith healer and evangelist Benny Hinn to that city. I have to say that I just don't understand (and want to desperately) why some folks (some Hindus in this case) get so exercised by others who believe differently from themselves.

But this also illustrates what comes from the excessive emphasis some Christian adherents put on conversion. That's mostly a monotheistic thing, I suspect, and from one point of view I can see how believers from other traditions might not appreciate that. On the other hand, as JP points out, going so far as asking the government to guarantee that no conversions be allowed, as some Hindus have done in this case, in a violation of India's constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion (thanks, JP, I hadn't realized that before). It is also, as I see it, a violation of any individual's right to make decisions of a personal nature - as the choice of one's religion certainly is - on their own. On the third hand (?!), the sad truth is that there are certain Christian traditions which seem just as reluctant as these particular Hindus to allow their followers the right to change their mind about which religion to follow.

I suppose I don't understand this because I don't expect everyone to believe exactly the things I believe. I've been told on occasion that this attitude means that there is something wrong with me. My view is that it would be a really boring world if everyone believed the same things and understood those things in the same way. It would also mean that I would have to find another subject to investigate, because the questions I'm asking as part of this project wouldn't even exist.

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