I had a great weekend this last couple of days. I was all set to post pictures and talk about what we did, then I turned on the news. Good Morning America as usual, right as I sat down with my coffee I see that they were reporting on a church shooting down south. They stated that it may have been a target because it was widely known to accept anyone and everyone with open arms. As the camera panned past the name of the church my heart stopped, I had to rewind it to see for sure.
Yup, it was a Unitarian Universalist Church. I know all church shootings are sad, and terribly hateful events. But when you base your entire life upon a set of unshakable unquestionable beliefs you are bound to find people who think their unshakable, unquestionable beliefs are right and yours are wrong and when you believe in something that strongly it has been known to lead to violence. Being a Unitarian Universalist isn’t like that. We has a congregation don’t have set in stone beliefs, other than our Principles. If you read even those you know that they are not about “God” they are about being a good decent human being. Making the time you have here the best possible and hopefully impacting your fellow human being positively.
I have had friends ridicule me for my “on the fence” religion, and people stare at me in disbelief when they find out that Jesus has no part in my life or beliefs, I often get a stupid response of “doesn’t that make you Jewish?”. Then again, I don’t talk about religion with anyone. I don’t make it really known what I think about religion, because these are personal, they are my ideas and thoughts, I wouldn’t call them beliefs because they are always changing. The more I grow the more I question or don’t question certain aspects of life. I’ve heard all to many people tell me “well, your going to hell then” (which is probably the rudest statement ever) to which I reply, “I don’t believe in hell, but if there is one, at least I’ll be with friends”. If “Heaven” is like anything the Christians say it is, I don’t really want to be there, with them, forever.
Truth is, no one knows what really happens when you die. No one. Being a Unitarian Universalist is about the questioning, about having the idea, not the belief, but also, allowing everyone else to have their own beliefs with out judgement, prejudice or anger. Everyone is entitled to believe in or have faith in what ever they choose to, it is not for me or anyone else to say what is right or wrong for you. It is not for a book written by men and interpreted by men to tell me what is relevant in today’s age. Just because you don’t agree with something someone says does not necessarily make it wrong.
I think we need to accept our fellow human beings a little bit more. I think we need to all take a collective deep breath and relax a little, realize that we are all on our own path through our own lives. Just because my path isn’t yours doesn’t make it wrong, and your path is correct for you. Just because we are not traveling together doesn’t mean that we don’t all have the same goal.
It makes me incredibly sad that the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tennessee was targeted by a hateful narrow minded man. He targeted a congregation that said “Who ever you are, whatever you believe I ACCEPT you.” He targeted them because they accepted everyone. He hated them because they hated none. He thought they were wrong because they thought no one was wrong.
This news has taken more of a toll on me than I could have imagined, it actually pierced my cynical soul. So today, instead of babbling about knitting, I leave you, hopefully a little more questioning, and a little more aware. It is a sad day when ignorance prevails.