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This Holy Week has me wondering about how respectful we are of different religions. So here are some things to ponder:

--Have you heard people put down a religion in front of someone who ascribes to that religion? What religion was it?

--Have you ever heard anyone comment that Buddhism, Hinduism, or other Eastern religion is a crock, and anyone who believes in their teachings is "naive" or "ill-informed"?

--Have you ever heard anyone be flippant or disrespectful of Jewish religious traditions or holidays?

--Have you ever heard anyone openly insult or poke fun at someone for believing in Jesus?

--Have you ever heard anyone argue with a Muslim about the accuracy of their religious writings?

--Have you ever heard anyone laugh or poke fun at someone for not believing in God at all?

These questions could apply to "in-person" and online encounters, even on TMF boards. I do not intend to offend ANYONE here, but am just posing these questions to foster discussion. Just wanted to get people's reactions to these questions and see if there's a pattern in what kinds of religions we treat with more or less respect in our society. Please discuss.
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I was engaged in a discussion about recovery on another board and had someone refer to my religion (wicca) as

dabbling, hocus pocus, appropriate for kindergarten, crazy, and whacky

All without having done any research about the religion or the person she was attacking.

*ex-jewish witch
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I spent a year as a missionary in the US - I have been called many names and had the police called on me for handing out fliers. Of course I was never arrested because we have freedom of speech here in America.

Does it matter what religion I profess?

I am Christian. I grew up Jewish. I have heard comments from all sides!

I also know of a refugee family from Afghanistan that was threatened with kidnapping if they did not stop attending a Bible study - threatened by your own - how's that for persecution?

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I don't think the encounters from online discussion boards centered around religion should count on this one....

In real life, I heard someone make a disparaging remark about Catholicism one cubical over from me which p'd me off. Veeeery stupid thing to do, too, at work, where you don't know everything about everyone. I don't remember what it was exactly - probably something about not liking them or Catholicism being stupid or ridiculous. Also heard a professional comic rag on the Catholics. (George Carlin). That's it for my exposure to bigotry.

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Reply to gogreengo:

If your neighbors were asleep in their house while it was burning would you be more interested in saving them from the fire or would you be too concerned that knocking on their door late at night might bother them?

i know the analogy is a bit weak, but the point remains: if someone stumbles upon the truth should that person keep it to themself or share it knowing that sharing it he/she might offend some people?

Suppose you had something very wonderful and exciting happen to you...would you keep that information to yourself or want to share it? what if that wonderful and exciting happening was available for them? Wouldn't you want to try and help people have that?

Most religions claim they are true...imagine one claiming they were a false religion. But they cannot all be true because some of them contradict each other. Thus a choice is needed on the part of each of us. How will someone make that choice? Even the method of determining the choice is often outlined for devotees of various religions. What is a person supposed to do? My suggestion is to ask the Creator. Anything else is less.

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Allow me please...

Imagine, if you will, that your neighbors house was on fire while they were asleep inside. Would you wake them or be too concerned they might be offended by being woke up?

Silly analogy? Maybe, but how do we explain spiritual things? Don't we do it with things we understand? So suppose you discovered which was the one true way to God and you knew it. Would you be too concerned about offending people to tell them? Yes, i realize one could argue how could you know you discovered the truth...but that is why i used the word "suppose". One thing we know...the law of gravity works the same for everyone regardless of their religion. Perhaps there is a spiritual law that the Almighty has put in place for all of us as well? i believe He did. The various religions cannot all be right, although they can all co-exist on this side of the grave. The various religions have some very fundamental differences that make them irreconcilable. They simply cannot all be right. How does one determine (for themselves) which is right? Notice "for themselves" which supposes people are ultimately responsible for their beliefs. What if the Almighty had a plan and was interested in sharing that plan with humanity...would you be interested? i think that just as gravity will have the same effect upon all humanity that jumps from a tall building so too will calling out to God from a pure heart yield the same results for all.
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