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I believe in love. Not the squishy, touchy-feely kind, but the kind that takes guts and practice and a lot of failure before we start to get it right.
I believe in freedom and pluralism, grateful that I live in a country where I am free to believe in God but where no one has to.
I believe in God, and that the vast majority of people who do not believe in God, or who believe in a different god than I do, are fine people with a lot to teach me. I am not at war with them, and I am not on the side of any so-called Christian who is.
I believe America is not, and was never intended to be, a “Christian country.” Given how Christianity is understood and interpreted by most Christians in America, I would have no interest in living in such a place, and in fact can think of little I would fear more.
I believe that other people’s sexual lives are absolutely none of my business.
I believe God is speaking to all people in all situations and all places, and that I don’t have to worry about trying to make other people live the way I think they should live. Everyone has the personal responsibility to live according to their best understanding of how they should live.
I believe everyone, including me, has the right to be wrong, both religiously and politically. No one, including me, is nearly as right about most things as we believe we are, including religion and politics. Even if someone else is wrong, that’s between them and God.
I believe deeply (and hope passionately) that God will show others the same love and mercy that I hope God shows to me when I am wrong, and when I am doing the best I can but still failing or somehow missing the point.
I believe in peace, in learning to love better and better every day. I believe that most people (including most religious people) aren’t really all that interested in living in peace and learning how to love. Most (not all) people are interested in talking about love and then blaming other people for their own failure to actually do it. This includes most (not all) religious people I know.
I believe many secular people are extremely judgmental about religious people, revealing their own hypocrisy and sense of superiority. Everyone seems to use their own views (religious or otherwise) to prop themselves up so they can feel superior over everyone else. I reject that whether it is done by a religious or irreligious person. It seems most people are self-righteous, and I presume this includes myself as well.
I believe we are deeply loved anyway.
I believe religious people often use God as a cover up or excuse for their self-righteousness (Pete Scazzero‘s idea of using God to run from God), and irreligious people use the often ridiculous or cruel behavior of religious people as the cloak over their own hypocrisy and unwillingness to look deeply into themselves. The tendency to run from responsibility is universal.
I believe love runs deep enough to cover my sins and the sins of everyone else.
I believe that the answer to what’s wrong with the world is not more militant, angry, irritated, self-justifying, critical, the-problem-is-everybody-else people, of the religious and irreligious varieties, but that the world will only heal when every person truly decides to be the change they wish to see in the world.
I believe that is our only hope.
Question: What do you believe? Let me hear from you in the comments section!