I know someone who posts religious verses and quotes on his Facebook wall very frequently. He professes his religious beliefs at every opportunity he gets. We are both Christians and attend the same Church. He is one step from becoming a full manager in a multinational company with strong diversity values and 60,000 employees in 180 locations all over the world. He was recently posted, on a tenured company assignment, to the US and now temporarily lives there with his family.
A few months ago, he put up a post on how wrong and abominable it was for the church of satan to erect a statue of a symbol of their worship on the grounds of one of their temples in a US city. He blamed the US president for the increasing heretic leanings of the nation. He then asked for believers to join him in, not only publicly condemning the city of Detroit for allowing this statue to be erected, but to consider employing any means necessary to prevent this recurrence in other US cities. He said some other things I would not mention here.
So I asked him a few questions:
1. Is that religious association a duly registered and legal entity in the US?
2. If the first question is true, do they have the same rights as other religions to worship and to promote their beliefs?
3. Did they get the municipal permissions to erect that statue?
4. Why are you so concerned what they believe in and how they choose to lawfully propagate it?
5. Is this in any way preventing you from practising your own religion?
6. Is the US a secular country?
7. How different is your intolerance and method of propagation than what ISIS and Boko Haram are doing in their quest for religious insularity?
He came to my inbox and warned me against criticizing him on his wall or trying to score cheap points, etc.
I obeyed him and deleted my comment.
You need to question that thing that drives you to want to “unduly” defend God or your religious beliefs. It is not your role. It provides a fertile ground for extremism to be planted. And that can be sparked by anything into germination.
Live and let live. Coexist. Love your neighbour regardless of their beliefs. This world is big enough for all. Say no to religious extremism.
And I do not refer to those who genuinely and respectfully provide clarity to those who ignorantly judge their religion or those who preach with the intent of winning converts through acceptable means.
My friend? No, he’s not seeing this either…his choice.