Re: For all those who ponder...About Charities

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Posted by Elaine on August 03, 2000 at 11:04:07:

In Reply to: Re: For all those who ponder...About Charities posted by Adele on August 02, 2000 at 17:11:25:

: Now, YOURS is a good post Elaine........I have read it three times in an effort to try and take it all in......and now I am trying to collect my thoughts in an effort to post a halfway coherent response!

: I am always fascinated by people who are 'true believers' (for want of a better expression). I find it hard to understand the need to attach oneself to a named group, and I also find it hard to separate the 'wrongdoings' of a religion from its achievements. For example, I cannot reconcile the teachings of the Catholic Church with its immense wealth and power, or the fatwas (death sentences) advocated by Islamic leaders. I consider myself a religious person, I believe in God, try to follow a true and honest path, treat others as I would wish to be treated etc etc. I do not feel the need to affiliate myself with anyone other than God and have yet to find someone who can satisfactorily explain that need to me.

: In short, I do agree with Bill that, although birds of a feather flock together, we should be working towards bringing down some of those barriers, rather than perpetuating them. When people stay within their own groups, whether they be ethnic, religious or otherwise, it does not always make them stronger, sometimes it just serves to alienate them from the rest of the community, providing ammunition to the more ignorant outsiders. When one sees a demonstration supporting, say, racial equality, do you not feel that the message is far more forceful when the demonstrators are made up of people of all colours? It is as if the combination suggests a majority, rather than minority, cause.

: Have I gone off the subject?! Probably! Like you, I hope that MY post will not be considered offensive, for as far as I am concerned, it is the heart of an individual that interests me, not their race, colour or religion.

: Phew!

: Adele

Hi Adele -

I'm going to try to reply as briefly as possible. Your post can't possibly be considered offensive.

Firstly, I don't EVER call myself a 'true believer' - my point was that I do believe what I adhere to & that's why I adhere to it. I don't have a 'need' to attach myself to any group at all. I am a Catholic by choice/conviction, not by need. I wasn't church shopping ... You'd have to ask someone else who does have such a need to explain their own reasons.

Secondly; My first reaction to your post was to address the issue you raised regarding wealth & power. However, that'd lead us further into a 'Catholic' discussion which was never the point or topic. I would say this only; Temporal abuses have & do exist, as does an obligation to feed the poor & pay the bills. Somewhere, there must be a balance - but this does not relate to teachings. If the teachings are good, sound, & virtuous, why reject them? Reject or embrace them according to their own merit or lack thereof.
Your second example (death sentences) does relate directly to a teaching. Again, reject or embrace according to its merit or lack thereof.

Thirdly; "I consider myself a religious person, I
believe in God, try to follow a true and honest path, treat others as I would wish to be
treated etc etc. " This is following your own conscience, Adele, and that's EXACTLY what you should do.

Lastly; Working to bring down barriers & not perpetuating them is an objective - & certainly one that'd go far in bettering human relations. However, people will still more closely associate with some over others. That is not to say people do, will, or should associate exclusively among particular groups, only that they WILL do so to SOME degree for various reasons & that those associations are not inherently wrong or puzzling. Somehow, it seems I've been interpreted as advocating closed circles of interraction. That's not at all what I was speaking of, nor was I advising such a philosophy, & my life certainly proves otherwise.

Hope I've made this a little bit clearer -

Thanks, Adele!

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