Dec 31, 2013

Let There Be Peace on Earth (and let it begin with me)

I just spent the better part of an hour reading the comments from an essay written by an atheist about celebrating Christmas. The essay itself was, for me, unremarkable. It was the comment section that left me breathless.

The comments, as I'm sure you can imagine if you've ever read comments online, range from ridiculous to moderately sane, from atheists, agnostics, and Christians alike. To be fair, I did not read them all (so maybe there were more pleasant or sane ones than those I read), but overall it left me feeling really sad.

I don't understand why people don't just get along. Why we all can't just respect each other. Why we all feel the need to be rude and resentful or judge and criticize other people.

I believe in God. I believe in Jesus. But just because I believe these things doesn't mean I can't respect and even love someone who doesn't. It doesn't matter if Jesus was the first person to ever preach about goodness and kindness (I am pretty confident he wasn't). Whether or not your belief in goodness and kindness comes from Jesus or Buddha or the humanity itself really doesn't matter to me. (And it shouldn't matter to anyone else.)

Isn't that what is most important?

I don't know. Perhaps I am being blasphemes for thinking I can be a Christian and think it's more important to be a good person than to believe in God. But I guess I think it's okay. I'm sure some (many) could find fault in this. I'm sure some (many) could claim I am "cherry-picking" my Christianity. And to that I say oh well. My personal faith (and any possible challenges about my faith) are my own.

I believe in God. I believe in Jesus. I also happen to believe in being kind, compassionate, and loving. And I know numerous people (some close friends) who don't believe in God but also believe in kindness, compassion, and love. Whether or not they believe in God has no influence on whether or not they are my friend. And I'm pretty sure they would say the same about me.

What would the world be like if we all were the same, all believed the same? I just wish we could respect our differing opinions as opposed to argue.

Just as an aside: I have had plenty of times I've initiated conflict and been very judgmental (especially talking politics) so I'm not pretending I'm above anything or anyone. I just wish we could all be nice to each other.

If you believe in being a good person, and I believe in being a good person, whether that belief comes from one place or another shouldn't matter. If we both claim to be good people, shouldn't we be nice to each other?

Yes. Just yes.

As this year is ending and a new one is beginning I am sending love and respect out into the universe.

Whatever you believe or don't believe I wish for you: love for your neighbor, love for yourself, and peace in your heart this coming new year.

xoxo, christine

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