religion

Chicken Fingers or Spaghetti?

After watching, reading, and talking with others over the past days I am left with one question. Well more than one, but this one is front and center on my mind right now.

Why can’t we have different beliefs? Do we have to agree on everything? If we disagree on something, why is what you believe right and what I believe wrong?

My sixteen-year-old daughter and I were having a conversation the other night and she came up with this analogy. I thought it was very insightful and addresses this question in a non-political, non-religious way.

She said, “I thought about this when I was eight years old and we were out for dinner somewhere. I wanted to order chicken fingers because I like chicken fingers. I saw someone else order spaghetti and I wondered why did they do that? Why didn’t they order chicken fingers? Because chicken fingers are so much better than spaghetti.”

She went on to say, “I couldn’t understand why someone would choose something other than chicken fingers. But then again maybe they were craving spaghetti all day and so that’s what they ordered. But how could they possibly like something different? I thought about this for a very long time. It made me wonder, were they right and I was wrong? Or was I right and they were wrong? Eventually, I realized everyone has different tastes and that’s okay.”

Side note – she has since moved on from her love of chicken fingers to expand her palate to enjoy many other foods, including spaghetti.

But it brings me back to the question I hope you will take the time to consider and share your answer.

Why can’t we have different beliefs, opinions, views, and still get along?

 

 

 

The Melting Pot

No, not the restaurant, although that’s pretty tasty, especially the dark chocolate fondue for dessert. No, this title refers to our country, the United States of America. These days it seems it’s more the divided states of America, but that’s for another post.

Our country is made up of immigrants. Whether they arrived here as recently as yesterday or as long ago as the Mayflower, any way you look at it, there is an immigrant somewhere in our family history. For me, the most recent was my grandparents and my mother, along with her siblings, in 1958. So technically that makes me first generation “American-born” in my family lineage. Of course my daughter is adopted from China, so technically she would be considered an immigrant as well. See where I’m going with this. This country is a beautiful mix of all sorts of people – Native American (the only ones who can claim to have always been here), European, Middle Eastern, Indian, Asian, Russian, Pacific Islanders, I could go on but you are intelligent, I think you get the idea. So what gives anyone the right to claim that their race, their identity, or who they identify with is the absolute right one and all others are wrong.  Just because someone’s skin is a different color than yours doesn’t mean they are inferior or anything less than you.

This also applies to religion. We supposedly have the freedom of religion, in fact the first amendment clearly states “…Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” It goes on to prohibit impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. So again, who is to tell me that their religion is the absolute right and all others are wrong. Just because you disagree with something or someone does not make them wrong. You are allowed to believe what you want, you are allowed to share that message, you can even disagree with me here. But please, be respectful. That’s really what it all boils down to. Respect one another, respect that we all come from different backgrounds, respect that we all have different views and beliefs that shape us. Let’s embrace each other as human beings who are sharing this planet, and try to live in peace and harmony, especially now, and for the future generations to come.