In Albania, we’re quite respectful towards other’s religious beliefs. There are mosques and churches within walking distance of one another in the center of the city. Everyone celebrates their religion’s holidays openly, proudly, without concern of judgment, harassment, or fear for their life.
During Ramadan or Christmas, I always become hyper-aware of the extreme gap between what religion preaches, and what it actually practices.
The hypocrisy is nauseating.
Most religious people are walking contradictions, thinking they’re pure solely because of their views as if them believing in God grants them the right to become God.
I’ve written about What God Is (To Me), but here’s what God isn’t. It’s not moral superiority, it’s not a free pass to be judgemental towards others. It’s not the belief your God is better, or that you are better because you believe in a (specific) God.
If we are going to use faith as a shield, let us use it against actual evil: malice, vice, corruption, abuse, and much more. Not against each other.
Let’s use the festivities more as a reminder to focus on what’s important, and how we can help others and feel closer to them, rather than a day to further separate ourselves from those dreaded others. After all, aren’t we all equal in the eyes of whoever your God is? Aren’t we all inherently worthy and deserving of love?
Start practicing what you preach today. Or tomorrow. Or whenever, I’m sure God is patient and understanding.