Friday, January 01, 2010

On One People, One Jacksonville: I have broadened my own thinking about other religions

Jacksonville is moving inevitably in the same direction as the world is, towards recognition of our essential unity as spiritual beings, whatever our faith heritage may be.-gw
What is your faith background?
Christian, Methodist. Now we attend St. John's Episcopal [Cathedral] downtown. ... I would call myself an Episcopalian. ... But I have broadened much more my own thinking and belief about other religions and their importance, and how we are all spokes in a wheel and the center is the divine. We may call that divine by other names, but each spoke gets us to divine.
That's not exactly a majority viewpoint in this community, is it?
I know there are some Christians who would disagree with that and might even say I'm not Christian because I don't believe he [Christ] is the way, the truth and the life for everyone. I think he's the way, the truth and the life for those who believe that. Buddhists and Hindu and Baha'i and Jewish and Muslim and pagan - those traditions are spokes in the wheel to get the center of what the divine is.
How did you come to see religion that way?
I remember a time ... during Yom Kippur ... when some Christians were passing out pamphlets around the neighborhoods where many Jewish folks live to try to bring them to Christ. ... It just was an insult, and I called my Jewish friends to apologize for the members of my group who were acting in ways I thought were disrespectful.
Is there any evidence people are becoming more accepting to people of other faiths?
Yes. More folks are attending our events than in the past. We've widened the circle of faiths in the past 3? years. It used to be just Christians and Jews at our Thanksgiving gratitude service, and we now have Hindu and Buddhist and Baha'i and pagan and Christian and Muslim and Jewish and Native American.

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

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