There's no doubt about it: it can be hard to TRULY accept and respect beliefs that you yourself do not share. Rules about what and when and where you can eat may seem pretty arbitrary—if they aren't part of your own tradition. Particular beliefs about how the universe and the Earth and humanity came to be can seem just plain wrong—if you weren't yourself taught those beliefs from an early age.
He or she was probably brought up with traditions and teachings that differ from your own. He or she is likely honoring her parents and community by continuing their religious tradition.
Others' beliefs almost certainly mean as much to them as yours do to you.
Others want to be respected, just like you do.
They want the freedom to act on their own consciences, just like you.
They want freedom within their own brains, just like you.
Today would be a great day to learn more about at least one world religion! Here are a few suggested resources—but you can easily find many more:
the official World Religion Day website
- a video about an interfaith group's trip to Jerusalem
- United Religions Initiative—this is the page for Jainism, but there are entries for many other religions, as well
- Mr. Donn's page about Taoism, which is not really a religion (it's a philosophy), but which is always listed with other world religions. By the way, poke around Mr. Donn's websites for entries on other philosophies and religions.
- Kids.Net's entry on secularism (also not a religion, but rather a philosophy); again, there are also entries on various religions and philosophies
- Chiddingstone's page on Hinduism—click the links to explore other world religions, as well
Also on this date: