07.12.16 – Religious tolerance

There is a guy that I meet at the beach from time to time. We do not talk, we just say “good morning”, and “good water”. However this morning I asked how he was and he said “God is good.”

I found myself reacting to him in a manner that I have found myself reacting to everyone I encounter in Barbados that uses religion to punctuate their sentences, and began to dismiss him. However this morning, I stopped myself.

This morning I realised that I do not think less of people for having a religion, nor do I object to people using their religion to bolster their lives. I think what I smart against is people who try to impose their religion upon me, people who do not accept my lack of religion with the same respect as I accept their religion. Notice how I am not talking about faith, but organised religion.

Religion is a key, active, and vibrant part in the lives of a lot of people in Barbados. It is one of the few places where naming your children Isaiah and Ishmael will provide them with a significant advantage when they grow older and start to climb to corporate banking ladder.

Peppering you sentences with religious quotes and phrases is considered a supplement and in some cases a substitute for understanding of a topic of conversation, or a way of accepting the status quo.

I quoted in a previous article that “The worst thing to happen to the black community is religion”. This means that it pacifies the community into being content with its lot, that the only thing black people can do is wait for divine intervention, rather than taking control of their own destiny and seizing life by the horns.

I see this religious control a lot in Barbados and I am frustrated by the apathy that religion breads here, and disappointed by the potential greatness lost through a Deus Ex concept.

I wonder whether this is a throw-back to slavery, where everyday control was taken out of the hands of the slaves, so all they could do was look to a higher power to emancipate them, while white slave owners use religion to pacify slaves. Ironically, it was taking matters into their own hands through a slave uprising that saved them, much like the solution to the problems in Barbados today.

However none of this should erode my own tolerance for others and their beliefs.

If someone uses a religious code in their sentence that would normally demonstrate their decency or place in society, I should respect that, even if I do not recognise it.


~ by jeditopcat on 7 December, 2016.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: