Why Religions Aren’t Like Football Teams
As I look around at recent reports of threats and hate crimes against Jewish and Muslim communities, I have to ask myself: where is all this hate for religions coming from?
According to dictionary.com, religion is defined as:
1. A specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects.
2. The body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices.
So, with these in mind, is it too far-fetched to conceive that “football” could be a religion? Well, if you are ever in Knoxville during football season, you will inevitably observe that, for all intents and purposes, it is a religion. And the truly die-hard fans are virtual religious zealots.
But the comparison extends further, as it highlights the way close-minded individuals view their religion as “against” someone else’s. When it gets really bad, it’s pretty much an “our team is better than your team” mentality. They’re not willing to risk that the other team might win the game because they want THEIR team to win! I think this can lie at the root of hate between religions. No one likes—or wants—to “lose,” especially not someone with spiritual blinders on, who can’t see the bigger picture. So it can become a totally one-sided proposition once you “choose your team.”
But, the thing is, there is no “Religion Olympics,” in which all our great leaders and prophets compete against each other for medals. In fact, far from competing, I believe that all true religious leaders and prophets had one goal in mind: to help their fellow man reach the highest level of peace and joy they could imagine.
So, let me ask you this: can you imagine what the highest level of peace and joy would be like for you?
And, there, my friends, lies the rub; I believe it’s a different outcome for everyone!
We may be on different spiritual teams, but we are all after the same end goal. And at the end of the day it’s all about arriving there, not about “beating the other guy.” So how can we win together?
Even my very best friend doesn’t love Rocky Road ice cream as much as I do. So how can we ever be in heaven together? In my book, heaven has no-calorie, no-carb, no-brain-freeze Rocky Road ice cream dispensing on-demand! And filet mignon for dinner every other night! Which means heaven is no place for my Jewish husband, either. He’s not allowed to mix meat and dairy. I guess we won’t be together forever…
Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is this: we may be on different spiritual teams, but we are all after the same end goal. And at the end of the day it’s all about arriving there, not about “beating the other guy.” So how can we win together?
I believe this is how we should look at other religions around us: are they playing the game better than we are? What are their strong points? How can we learn from them? How can we work together to achieve the ultimate goal?
Wouldn’t it be crazy to find out that the only way we could truly achieve the highest level of peace and joy individually and through our respective faiths would be to have every religion share its views openly, allowing us to come to the realization that we all have the same outcome in mind, like real peace on earth?
I find that, through my studies in Scientology, I am able to honestly appreciate other religious views without having to give up mine. Not only that, my religion has helped me see the wisdom in other religions. And that is why I am proud to be a Scientologist.
Photo by: Stefano Ember / Shutterstock.com