I just figured out that I’m a religious hypocrite. Yes, me. Blargh. I hate religious hypocrites. And yet, here I am, a hypocrite with a capital R.
Here is my dilemma: I am uncomfortable with people who try to convince me that their religion is true, especially when they want me to switch over to the other side and accept their beliefs as my own. It feels icky, like an Amway presentation. They want me to believe that I will have all this health, wealth and happiness if only I believe their message, which I just can’t believe, because it feels so fake to me.
Yet here I am, spreading my own brand of spirituality (politically correct version of religion) to the world. Not only sharing my point of view, but hoping to have a positive impact on the hearts and minds of humanity.
I thought I was a blogger. Honestly, though, it seems I’m something of an evangelist. And since I’m broadcasting my evangelism, that makes me something of a televangelist.
Thinking of it that way kind of makes me hate myself. Which makes me a double hypocrite, since I’m always preaching the importance of loving and forgiving oneself.
Seriously, though, I don’t really hate myself. (There, I’m denying it now.) I do find it disconcerting, however. And, actually seriously (like, for real this time) I do have to wonder how many people feel uncomfortable or avoid my blog because I’m so overtly spiritual, and so unabashed about inviting others to share in my hopes and dreams for love and peace in the world.
But why should you feel uncomfortable with me, and why do I feel uncomfortable around evangelical religious people sharing their message?
It’s because I feel like they’re not entirely honest. That must be it. Like they are pretending to care about me, when really they just want to get something from me. Maybe they honestly believe what they are saying, but I don’t believe that it’s true, so I feel like they’re trying to convince me of something that isn’t true, which is sort of dishonest. And dishonesty make me uncomfortable.
I like being around people who are genuine and honest. I don’t always share their point of view, but if they live their message out loud, then they don’t need to convince me logically that they are correct or that I should agree with them. If it makes sense, it will be obvious from the way they live their lives.
But back to me again (because I love talking about me) – my message and my life don’t always match up. I’ll be honest about that. I talk about forgiveness and I hold grudges. I talk about peace and I start arguments. I talk about love and I avoid people I don’t like.
I’m sharing this with you in the attempt at being honest, even if I’m not honest with myself all the time.
But I’m trying.
Just keeping your Divine light shining and it will reach those it needs to. You have been given a unique gift so please keep sharing your dreams, your healing energy and your messages of love and light. Those who don’t believe in your “spirituality” will find the path they are meant to be on, just as you have found yours. Hold onto your dreams as they are your personal destiny and only you can follow them. 🙂
I just read “Scary Religious Crazies.” I do like the way you write!
I agree about the importance of honesty. Is it possible that hypocrisy (in one degree or another) is a human failing? I’m convinced that my students often see me as hypocritical, in spite of the fact that I try my very best to live what I say, and to be honest with them and with myself.
About your eagerness to share what you are finding about spirituality: Is it not natural to want to tell people about something you care about and find valuable? Whenever I read a book that moves me, I want to tell people about it. I don’t condemn them if they don’t read it, or if they don’t enjoy it; but I want to share it. Likewise, if you have found a way of looking at life that seems valuable, it’s natural to share it. No one is forced to “believe” in it, or in you, or whatever. You don’t make them feel guilty, nor do you threaten them with eternal punishment if they do not accept what you are saying. To me that’s the difference between what you are doing and a televangelist. I hope it’s also the difference between what I practice and the same unlikable group.
I think the best we can do is to keep striving for honesty, to keep examining our motives. Have you ever read Jean Vanier’s Becoming Human? It’s a wonderful book. In it he mentions the thorny problem of sorting out our motives for doing various things; he is talking specifically about “doing good,” helping people in various ways. It’s pretty interesting, the light he sheds on how obscure our motives can be, even, or maybe especially, from ourselves.
Enough! This is meant to be a comment, not a blog!
Thank you, Nora! And hey, no need to sign off with “sorry” when the whole point is that it’s okay to share your point of view! 🙂
“When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” Stephen F. Roberts
That’s a thought-provoking comment, Fred. Thanks for sharing.