Religion is supposed to be one of those topics you just don’t bring up in conversation, unless of course you’re in a place of worship. There is a huge stigmatism behind religion that either you believe in something or you don’t and what you believe in completely defines you as an individual. Religion of course does give a hint to the type of personality an individual may have, then again those are stereotypes.
I hate when people associate the worst ideas with religions. Those ideas are only placed by society and not really what people actually believe. Why does believing in something different automatically mean that person is wrong? We live in a society where everyone thinks it is their way or the highway. Religious tolerance is what I am going for here and an acceptance of diversity as a good thing.
I think that my strong belief in accepting the diversity people hold stems from how I grew up. My parents always taught me to accept others for how they were and tried to keep me very open minded. My mom is a kindergarten teacher so she teaches these same ideas to her students and this transcends in and out of the classroom in her way of teaching. I get personally offended when people instantly associate negative ideas with certain religions even when they aren’t talking about my own. I guess because I know people of various religions and I know how offended they get when people associate negative things about their religion that I sympathize very easily.
I have a Catholic friend who gets so offended when someone instantly makes the joke that her Priest must be a molester just because he’s of Catholic faith. I understand her frustration when dealing with stereotypes. Just because her religion and belief is different doesn’t make it wrong. Society has implanted these negative connotations in our minds that are really hard to separate from. Diversity is a beautiful thing and without it the world would be boring and frankly I don’t think that could exist. Our society thrives on individualism and being different and being that “one in a million”.
I think that people value social and religious cohesiveness because they are afraid of change. Tradition is a huge thing and I know this from growing up in the south. People down in the south have gone to the same church that their great-great grandmothers and fathers went to. It’s just something that is expected and doesn’t have to be told, it just keeps occurring. So when someone, say a granddaughter of a family that’s gone to the same Christian church for fifty years for example decides that atheism is the ideal form of religion for her, the family doesn’t know how to accept, and might not accept that change in belief. Change for some people is hard to accept and that’s why some people aren’t as accepting of diversity because of how far outside of their comfort zone it is. A person who doesn’t agree with diversity probably comes from a long line of family and friends that all believe that their religion is the one that should be believed in. They have these values because of where they grew up and that environment shaped how they feel about others.
Because of where I grew up and my parents and friends I believe in diversity to be beneficial and one of the many important things we can learn from in the world around us. That just comes from how I was raised to accept others. People who aren’t as accepting are influenced by their upbringing and shape how they feel about others. Society plays a huge role in how we view the world and perceive others. If I had grown up with my parents telling me that people who hold other beliefs are wrong then I am absolutely positive I would believe in that because children trust in their parents. Children always trust what their parents tell them and then these ideas are values that adults grow up to have because of the way they grew up. This is where people gain their views on diversity just like how I did.