PeaceNext, the Facebook presence of The Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, presents an organization “Faiths Against Hate.” It is my belief that hate comes from fear, and that fear has been the central power among religions for centuries. The question in my mind is, “How do we move from fear-based authority to compassionate bonding-based authority and partnerships?”
Parents do need to enforce boundaries based on our beliefs, which are enforced by our rituals. To expose our children to beliefs and practices that we don’t understand causes fear. How can we protect our children from influences that we don’t understand?
I know that many don’t believe in evolution, but I believe it is important to believe that with each succeeding generation of homo sapiens, we have passed on knowledge not available to previous generations. Our offspring do not only absorb our animal instincts, but are also taught what we know and pass on to them. Why would we teach hate if we were not afraid of losing our children?
Understanding of each other and all that we encounter is the answer to fear. This is why I am constantly looking for common values among those who claim to be religious people. Understanding and responsible, responsive compassion is the only core of religious practice that seems to cross all ethnic and religious boundaries; the rest is divisive tribalism.
I will always be protective of the boundaries in which I am comfortable. Now that I am finished bringing up my own children, I am free to expand the boundaries in which I live. I am secure in my own values; therefore, I can freely move, without fear, among many other sets of values. My comfort with expanded boundaries creates discomfort in many of my former “tribe,” but this is not a source of discomfort for me.
I will not follow anyone or system that controls or leads with fear. I will welcome death before I accept a life of fearful submission to a jealous, angry, vengeful, or blood-thirsty figure of authority. I Am ∞ because we all are.