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Keeping my eyes open

Reader comment on item: A Christian Boom

Submitted by Robert Galen (Canada), Jun 22, 2005 at 18:09

Hello all,

I have been reading some entries here and I am impressed by the knowledge expounded by some (but I am also abhorred by the ignorant claims of others). Many things are said in many places and for this reason I am researching religion... for my own personal understanding, perhaps even that I might find salvation.

Allow me to introduce myself, I am James Bailey, Student of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Toronto. (BA). At present I have studied within two Jewish centres (guided by a Rabbi from Jerusalem in each); I have examined the history of the Catholic and Protestant Religions (under the guidance of two Professors of the University of Toronto); I have spoken with three Islamic Academic Students (also in the University of Toronto); and I have invited a pair of Utah born Mormon Missionaries to teach me what it is that they know. What is most amazing is not "what is different", but "what is the same." Each of these studies I have engaged (Orthodox Judaism, Muhammadian Islamic principles, Catholicism, Protestantism and Mormonism) all of these teach inherently good principles.

I am deeply troubled by the combative nature of the discourses that are engaged in here, especially the crude and false guise of religious fellowship in which it is conducted. I would implore everyone to reconsider such sharp attacks against other religions; especially when many do not really know what they are claiming. Further, for those who I can see have read books outside their own faith, I would be quick to remind that merely reading a book is not enough. Academia requires not just the capacity to recite or regurgitate bulk information (especially that information that might appear to weaken another person's point of view), but instead a genuine scholarship must be made into that same thing which might be later criticised.

Should a Muslim wish to attack the history of a Christian, remember your own history – vice-versa for a Christian or any other party. Should a Jew or Mormon or any other adherent criticise the beliefs of another, it would be wise to find one's own faults first. I am genuinely saddened that many fight openly against those things that are based on the doctrines of religion outside their own faith. The purpose of religion, according to my own studies, is two fold: [1] It aids in accepting principles of what is just and good as well as [2] It promotes the idea of salvation or redemption and the finding of God.

By alluding to vulgar attacks (most blatantly obvious in Nazi commentary or claiming to have a "better" one thing or another) such commentary weakens claims and pushes other away from believing not only the group that is attacked, but also the group from which the attack comes from... And this is so because it becomes a constant bickering on all sides – each person claiming to know the evils of the other.

I would implore everyone here to visit their local Synagogue, Mosque and Church and pick up copies of the texts of those same individuals whom it is your intention to criticise... Study each book and then learn their doctrines. Should you find radical differences from your own I would recommend that an authority be sought out to explain to you what it is that seems strange. Further, it amazes me how some individuals can be so one sided. Who is to say that Muhammad is greater than Joseph Smith - or that the Talmud is more or less than the Bible? None. I believe that none can claim such things. If anyone dares to do so, they have failed in understanding the fundamental basis of their own religious tolerance for others. (And I know this to be taught in one form or another within all of the religions I have studied – be it in scripture or oral history)

By all of these things I do not mean to say that I do not believe that it is possible for there to be a religion in which one individual might find faith enough to settle him or herself down. And there is a good chance that many individuals will indeed find peace and that peace will come because of the goodness of the teachings of gospel doctrine upheld in that mosque, synagogue or church.

With this I rest my case and would remind everyone "out there" who criticises, they hurt the chances that individuals like myself will ever settle down and find faith.... And as it has been taught to me that to do so, to alienate potential believers from what which someone believes is the truth, such a thing is a great sin bringing damnation to those responsible... It is thus my hope that all may find themselves prepared to meet their god - whom ever that may be.

Warm Regards,
Robert Galen
Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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