Thursday, November 4, 2010

Faith And Belief

I believe in the faith of people, whatever faith they may have.

Studs Terkel
Go Studs! Why can't we leave each other's religions alone?

I would like to know why so many people I don't know are interested in my soul.

One day I was standing with a group of friends on the sidewalk. A car drove up and stopped. A young man got out, rushed over and handed me a pamphlet from some Baptist organization. The title of it was "Are You Saved Yet?"

When I was a broadcaster I got a lot of fan mail, but one day I got a postcard from a listener who said "I am praying for your immortal soul."

Another day as a girl was getting off the subway, she threw into my lap a magazine from some eastern religion and told me to read it.

I was in rehearsal for a show and one of the actors came up to me and tried to sell me on the truth of some Jewish splinter group;

I was at a party given by a director for his colleagues and friends. He had a penthouse apartment and outside was the roof of the building, a big wide area where one could sit privately and enjoy the fresh air and the view. During the few hours I was sitting there a fellow came up to tell my about Jesus. Another tried to teach me a chant that she was sure would solve my problems and give me solace. (Did I need solace?) Another fellow talked to me at length about his meditation group and invited me to attend.

I am an ardent reader of philosophy and world religions, so I made short work of those people. I appreciate their concern, generosity and compassion, but I don't appreciate the proselytizing. I kept wondering, though, why I was being singled out by these people. Was it my cigarette? My beer? When they look at me do they see horns and a tail, or vampire teeth, or smoke signals of desperation coming out my ears? I put it to you, you who read my journal, am I the devil's man?

I have numbered among my friends two Protestant ministers, an Episcopal priest and a Catholic priest. None of them ever tried to convert me or to save my "immortal soul."

To tell you the truth I have received more spirituality out of Debtors Anonymous meetings than I ever got in a church. I know what I think, I know what I believe and I know where my faith is. I don't mean to put down anyone's religion. I don't and I wouldn't. I just want people to leave my faith, or my lack of it, alone.

DB - The Vagabond

(This is not a contest.)

At what event of the past do you wish you could be present? Why?

Only 5 responses so far.

Thank you.


Ananamoose said...

I feel very similarly about people pushing their faith on others. I am a Christian, but I don't believe in trying to save everyone I come into contact with. If someone asks about certain faiths, or my faith, I will talk to them about it, but I don't believe in talking about it first, especially if I don't know the person very well.

Silver said...

Well.. i try not to be preachy.. but it's hard especially when i am around my sons.

Anonymous said...

I could not have said it better myself. Thanks for sharing DB.

Mark and Elayne said...

Confession: i use to be one of those folks you speak of a good 30 years ago.
Until it was done to me.
Now, I believe in sharing my faith with others (if asked) not shoving it down their throat or beating it over their heads.

Linda S. Socha said...

I can totally see that approach. When I first moved south again I was overwhelmed with visiting ministers....I finally decided it was just the way things were done at that time in this part of the south!

Arlene (AJ) said...

Another great read DB. As you know, I'm was related to someone famous in the religious world and we've talked about this before. I certainly respect everyones belief in their religion....but must say, try living in the South, some days it is're welcome to your belief as I am mine, just don't try to push yours religious beliefs or thoughts on to me.

Nina P. said...

You hit a home run here. I also don't know when we stopped listening to our forefathers and no longer separate church and state. They had a great idea that worked wonderfully for years... I honor the beliefs of others as I expect them to honor mine. There is much to be learned from all faiths. Bottom line, we all need to learn to let go and let individuality be. My faith is strong but I don't expect the person next to me to believe exactly as I do... Faith is an inside job. Blessings to you and yours. Love and Light, Nina P

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I am with you, belief is personal and others need to leave us alone.

Lori said...

You must be sending off some kind of vibe, DB. I'd love to have heard some of those conversations, though!