Likely every person reading this entry was raised in a particular faith tradition. Each contains the wisdom and the wonder of Divine creation, an explanation for how things came to be and the ways in which they are sustained. If used for a Higher Purpose, they unify, rather than separate. Somewhere along the way, however, there are those who came to justify hatred in God’s name. That could range from anti-semitism to homo-phobia, from racial injustice to violence against women and children. A week or so ago, I heard about a minister I know who said he didn’t want his son to move to a particular town nearby since there were “too many fags.” This was related to me by someone I know to whom it was said and although he didn’t speak up, he did tell me that he no longer wanted to be in this man’s presence and sadly, had viewed him as a role model. Had I been there, I certainly would have been quite vocal in challenging his statements since he considers himself to be a man of God. I would ask him why he holds hatred in his heart for God’s own. I would invite him to examine his beliefs and convictions.
As ‘a nice Jewish girl’ who became an interfaith minister and being immersed in eclectic spirituality, I say that love is my religion and God’s too big to put in a box. For me, religion (like love) is a verb; an invitation to devotional action that has me offering loving kindness (chesed in Hebrew, metta in Pali, matreya in Sanskrit and agape in Greek) to those with whom I cross paths.
I invite you to watch this extraordinary video called Love Is My Religion, which blends the music of Greek recording artist and performer, Yanni and the ecstatic poetry of 12th Century Sufi, Ibn’Arabi
And then a livelier follow up with Ziggy Marley holding forth, expressing the same concept; with the beautiful lyrics “I don’t condemn, I don’t convert.”