In reply to: Hackman's Musings: Beyond Exclusivism
The exclusivity of many religions (and of politics, and probably other things, as well) is a very difficult concept to broach. Obviously, one believes that their own faith is the one that God smiles on; the one that will lead them to have a righteous life, and to an everlasting reward. But part of saying "I'm practicing the faith that God desires" is saying "those who don't worship as I do, are wrong, and God knows it."
And while I understand the compassion involved in bringing folks into your "one true" faith (whatever you believe that faith and denomination or sect thereof to be), there comes a point where human compassion bids you give people the right to be wrong. Sometimes, you have to allow people the right to choose their own faith, even if you believe the one they choose (that is, any one except your own) will lead to everlasting torment, or reincarnation as a mayfly.
The next step; the religious / political / social bullies are far more sad . As you say, it stops being about helping or saving you, and becomes all about them and their wants and needs. Your not living up to their standards becomes an issue of disrespect toward them.
I believe that you have to allow people to be wrong. I'm not saying one cannot try to lead the lost out of their religious, political, or social confines and into the light, but there comes as time when it's more compassionate (and rational, too) to just let them be wrong, and even to let them believe that you're the one who's wrong. The alternative is a world full of "my-way-or-the-highway" bullies like Mr Douglas.
A good piece...
Posted Tuesday, December 14, 2010 6:52:00 AM MST
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