Never impose a belief

The danger of religion, I worry, lies not so much in its proffered merits (to be saved, freed, and privy to the eternal truth), but rather in the unconscious characterizing of the non-religious. The non-religious are always thought to be lost or burdened by weights of worldly things – and unless they enter into religion, they shall remain in that almost pitiable state. “We’ll pray that you’ll find the truth,” says the earnest churchgoer. But as dearly and innocuously he meant his words, the non-religious shall always take it as an insinuation: that his entire, secular life orbits a great lie. How then can he help from feeling a certain indignation? Thus breeds the conflict, the animosity. The religious must then be careful to not let their convictions, their fervent convictions, rein their sentences. They must realize that as highly and proudly they hold the teachings of their church, as passionately as they presume them truths, there will always be others who think differently; and these others ought to be respected, just as the religious themselves would wish to be. This non-imposition of beliefs is the way to harmony.

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