Monday, April 2, 2012

4/3/12—Respecting Your God

Today's Draw: Page of Wands from the Mary-El Tarot. Do you think having faith in God makes people stronger and more successful? When you look at your daily behavior, do you treat ALL others as you would have them treat you, or is this a practice reserved only for the few, or only for those who return the favor? Do you think Christ's forgiveness makes it OK for people to ignore his teachings and his examples?

Today's card talks about the power of belief and how faith helps people pursue and achieve their divine purpose in life. No doubt most of us would agree with that statement and each of us would identify our own version of the higher power as the one to believe in and the one to have faith in. I know I did when I first read the statement.

But then, just for kicks, I googled "celebrity atheists" and look at what I found. Richard Branson, Lance Armstrong, Bill Gates, Ricky Gervais, Howard Stern, Julianne Moore, Woody Allen and James Cameron are on the list, to name a few. Those aren't "kind of" successful people. They're not people without a view of their "divine purpose". They're people at the very top of their game. They're philanthropists. And they don't believe in God. Any god. 

I saw a blog today by a Catholic woman who felt her child had been possessed by something.  Turns out her massage therapist received a reiki treatment and infected her child with the devil. A reiki treatment. Given to a massage therapist. Who massaged the mother. Possessed the child with the devil. In the blog comments, others chimed in about the witchcraft performed by healers and the devil-worshiping rituals involved in becoming a reiki healer. 

Ignorance is everywhere. And, in my opinion, people shame themselves and their god when they perpetuate lies out of their own fear of the unfamiliar. 

I'm not writing about reiki today, but I will say this. There is no religion in it, there are no devil-worshiping attunements and the only god I've heard mentioned by a reiki practitioner is Christ and Christ's energy. And angels like Michael. And the white light of heaven. Though not all reiki practitioners are Christian, most have a healthy respect for Christ, his teachings and his healing abilities. Most healers I know give very freely of themselves to help people. To see them characterized in such a way is repulsive to me. It comes from ignorance and fear, not from anything Christ ever said about healers. In fact Christ tells us to "heal the sick" and says that those who believe in him, will do greater things than he did.

That said, what I am writing about today, though, is that it's time for the judgment and stereotyping and hating to end. Really, it is. And if your neighbor isn't willing to be the first or even go along with you, do it anyway. We ALL fancy our beliefs to be the right ones. We ALL think our faith and love gets us ahead in life. We ALL have misconceptions. We ALL judge. But only a few of us will be the leaders who will stop the madness and actually follow the teachings and examples of Christ or Buddha. Why not make yourself one of those leaders?

Here's how you do it. If your god is loving, love. If your god is forgiving, forgive. If your god is accepting, accept. If your god is inclusive, stop rejecting. And if your God is humble, stop acting superior. And if you don't have a god, love, forgive, accept, include and be humble anyway, just because it's a gracious, cooperative and loving way to move through this world. Sure, we'll always disagree on things and have opinions and whatnot, but it's time to stop fighting over god in god's name, and using his teachings to justify fear-based, ignorant, hateful, marginalizing, judgmental, nasty and holier-than-thou behavior. That's just disrespectful. 

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