So an interesting thing happened to me today. I have been staying at my parent's house to take care of my diabetic cat while they are out of town (insert cat lady jokes here), and the doorbell rang. I figured it was a salesperson (because who ever comes over unexpected anymore?) and was greeted by two women from an area church. Now, I usually just nod when church people come to the door and let them talk, but today as I was going along with my normal nodding the woman asked me to justify what I was agreeing to with an example of "how I knew I was going to Heaven." Well, I was not prepared to have to validate my head nodding, so I kinda fumbled without being able to justify what I was saying, and the conversation went downhill from there as she started crying and told me she would "pray for me."
As I shut the door, I thought of numerous things. Firstly, I am all for religion. I think it's great- people believing in something greater than themselves that gives them guidance, comfort and love in this big life. Obviously there is much more to religion than than, but the point I'm making is, I get it. I grew up going to church every Sunday, and while I do not go regularly anymore, I do consider myself a "spiritual" person. To me this means that I do not really affiliate myself with a particular religion because there are so many great aspects to all different religions that I try to live by, and I think that the good 'ol Golden Rule never hurts anyone either. That all being said, I do take offense when people try to push their beliefs on me, when I do not ask for their opinions, and then take pity on me or worry about me (someone they don't even know) when I do not share their beliefs. My beliefs are my beliefs and I don't feel that anyone has the right to tell me they are right or wrong. I don't judge other Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists or Scientologists for their beliefs, so I don't feel they should judge me based on mine. This woman could have approached this conversation with me in a much more appropriate way as opposed to basically telling me I was going to hell and putting me on the defense. She knew nothing about me, so I am insulted that she passed judgement on me in less than a minute. That doesn't seem like acceptance and tolerance to me.
And secondly, as I closed the door, I thought, I really should have just told her I was Jewish.