(Above are the shoes and slippers of those who came for the “People like us” forum 🙂 )
There have been some interesting comment bubbles at Anil Netto’s blog which I thought would be worth reposting here for the benefit of all. Let me pick out some caught my attention.
Beyond the river of theological difference lies an ocean of similarities. I’ve personally realized this for a long time.
Another realization is that when the differences are continuously brought to the fore, it’s rarely about faith, but more about power.
Katharina Sri (former: Noor Aza Othman) on June 17th, 2009 at 4.19pm
This is brilliant! But the forum must involve hard questions in order to speak and seek the TRUTHS, such as the opression and injustice towards women/girls, gays. non-Islamic communities, converts from Islam etc.. Islam has to be reclaimed back from the deceitful Islamists (an Arabic-led elite class that politicized Islam as a dogmatic idelogy, for the sake of maintaining or constructing dominant racist, sexist and facist power over ordinary Muslim and non-Muslims alike).
In Christianity, Reformation since the 16th. century, as started very bravely by a small priest, Martin Luther (some in the Vatrican tried to have him burnt at stake!), that gave birth to divese interpretation of Christianity, that include Protestantism, has opened the door to a not-to-be-undermined revolution, where previously the absolute power of interpretation of the bible, old & new, was with the male-dominated Pope & Vatican. I suspect that the Vatican originally was the remnant of the elite class from the Roman Empire and hence why it was also, absolutely only allowed in Latin. But the “priesthood of the believers” have allowed all individuals especially ordinary believers from the poor,women and gays, to interpret themselves accordingly to their own being, but a rational being and in diversity, that include in one’s own language. And that’s another great achievement of the Reformation where rationality is compatible with faith, not in competition with each other as what has always been interpreted previously, due to mostly blind faith and the monopoly of such interpretation in the hands of the few elites. By the way, God is not the Earth and humanity’s ‘Nanny’; when Adam wants to be free, God let the world and humanity take their own course; just as the beauty of Christianity, which is based on complete free will, to believe or not and that religion is fundamentally about our personal reltionship with God. Once one chooses to believe, depending on one’s complete free being, only then God is there, for the believers. Further, why shouldn’t I reclaim Christianity from my own interpretation, as allowed by God?
A true Malaysian on June 17th, 2009 at 7.01pm
Sometime many people tend to forget they are just fellow human beings, if emphasis is too much on what faith they belong.
How nice if all of us can put aside our beliefs / religions or have no religion at all, and live together as fellow human beings.
Come to think of this, the existence of religions in this material world is supposed to bring peace, but why conflicts still remain since long long ago?
Religion or people? or,
Should we have no religion at all?
Diverse ideas and opinions divide. Should we have no diversity at all?
greg on June 17th, 2009 at 11.39pm
Since some claim that the course of problem might be due to religion and other kinds of diversity, they wish to wish them off so that those problems wont arise. Diversity is not the problem here. the problem is solely on the people who misunderstand, misinterpret, lack of tolerance, lack of respect and worst of all claim their deviancy correct and condemn the rest. The reason for diversity is to allow human beings to get to know, understand each other coming to live in harmony. Diversity was created by God (The bible story – tower or Babel, the 12 tribes of Israel etc etc).
Another element that tarnishes the embracement of diversity is fear. Fear of ones own race, religion and culture etc will become extinct due to the presence of other groups which at times do pose a direct threat. Well basically no religion etc etc teaches us to disrespect one another. It is misinterpretations that make people think that way so why put the blame on religion etc etc??
With religion around the world the world is not so a good place what will happen if there is no religion. Well there is no other planet to go to haha. Religion teaches us good values. Thought and followed properly would do good so why remove religion. Culture give us identity of who we are and where we come from, our history, evolution and existence without it we become nobody. We become orphans.
To know ones religion is good to question it but for the reason to learn and enrich ones faith and not to find fault and destroy it. Whoever questions for the wrong reasons eventually will destroy themselves due to their own being. However in interpretation one needs solid study and deep understanding of the particular matter. Any book written 1000 yrs ago cannot be interpreted using current human mentality, understanding and way of life. The interpretation would not be accurate therefor we ought to follow people or organizations who have come up with proper interpretation for it, since those interpretations are a result of massive ongoing theological, philosophical studies carried out by experts who spent yrs and some their lives doing just that. Since it is ongoing therefore changes have taken place and will take place as time suits and thus we ought to be patient.
With our current human lacking in interpretation such interpretations can become deviant. One is like making a God of one own liking. God is not of ones own liking. If one makes a God of such then one is just creating another religion or sect. However some will find good (which is, uhmm goodlah) and some would not a cause trouble.
Sometimes when we disagree on something instead of causing trouble one should try to understand, discourse and have dialogues to fix things up. Unfortunately currently no one does that.
By the way no diversity is like having no color in the existence of life. Well for me got to places which have no diversity : heaven and hell hahahaha.
Andrew I on June 18th, 2009 at 3.22am
Imagine there’s no religion.
John Lennon put into music what most of us feel. How do you trust God’s words with man?
It’s not my faith in God that is in question.