Pyjama morning

It’s been years since I’ve had a pj-day, and today was an ideal opportunity. I’ve been on my own this weekend – Misty and I in charge, as it were. (She thinks she is in charge.) Anyway, I am never very good in the mornings so was not surprised when I woke up too late for church. My cunning plan was to find a service on TV and have my breakfast in front of it whilst gently coming to. It was not to be. Instead I found myself slap bang in the middle of a debate about fundamentalism. The question was something like “Does fundamentalism endanger religion?”

What a lot of hot air, what a lot of quoting the bible, and the Torah and the Koran. Enough to bring on a state of indigestion. Intolerances followed thick and fast, peppered with phrases such as – “I do respect your right to differ,” but sadly including the inevitable, “You’re a sinner.”

What became clear is that fundamentalism, of whatever religion, leads to misogyny, lack of women’s rights, prejudice of all kinds and an inability to even consider that the other could ever have some right on their side. Homosexuality could not even be discussed coherently, nor could the hijab or forced marriages.  None of this was the ideal accompaniment to breakfast so in the end I pressed the off button.

The sad thing is that somehow I felt tainted and the house felt soiled. Not even the gracious woman rabbi, the liberal Imam or the biblical scholar could come anywhere near bringing common sense to the discussion. And all of this had come into my home because I was searching for a shared experience of worship. Instead, I simply found a ragged experience of discord.  Such debates over current theological differences are more and more prevalent as people seek to exercise their human rights in amongst religious practice. My own feeling is that talking about religion is not as helpful as it might be, simply because of lack of love and care and concern for the other.

It is clear that looking after one another and doing good is the fundamental principle. It matters that human beings seek justice for each other and work to alleviate poverty and violence wherever it exists. Thus I had my own sermon for a Sunday morning – painful though it was.

And what about worship? And Birthday Treats? Today it has been saying hello to the oyster catchers and playing throw the stick with Misty on our walk.

Happy Sunday.

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7 Responses to Pyjama morning

  1. Lyn says:

    It seems to me that we (people as a whole) have become less tolerant over time. As I child I experienced most of the adults in my life being pretty tolerant of others and their beliefs. Or at least, they had the grace to not discuss it. I grew up thinking that it was OK for people to have differing beliefs as long as they lived by their own creed and were gentle with others. Now we have large schisms, even within sects, showing outward disdain for those with differences.

    I find I can no longer “belong” to a congregation because of the dissonance I feel there. Fortunately I have a group of friends who believe in the Supreme God, albeit with a few differences in how the pay homage. We respect each other and do not play “my God is better than your God.” We discuss and learn and teach one another. It is so far superior for me to feel the peace, the encouragement, the love of these wonderful people.

    I’ll take my chances in settling up with God.

  2. Ray Barnes says:

    I agree with you that Fundamentalism of any complexion is not the way to peaceful agreement. Where every individual has an agenda there can never be real compromise.
    In the end it is not a matter of the title of your belief that matters, but “by their deeds shall ye know them”.
    By the way, I trust that by the time you and Misty took your walk you had exchanged your pyjamas for more conventional garb.

  3. LC says:

    Hubby and I also had a late start this Sunday. We drove a few blocks to a nearby storefront church, with two services and a big congregation, for their 10 a.m. service. Alas, their early service was 9:30 a.m. so we caught the final few minutes. We waited for the crowd to thin so my slow and fairly awkward gait wouldn’t block the exit. The upside was a wonderful visit and catching up with half a dozen folks from a previous church we attended together.

    “where 2 or more are gathered”! Happy Sunday to you, too.

  4. Dianne says:

    Fundalmentalism of all kinds has caused most of the problems in our politics on both sides of the pond. Secular fundamentalists are often the worst. Unfortunately, some of the most left-wing leaning types don’t see that their “my way or the highway” provokes much reaction. Ditto right-wing fundamentalists, but wait, they are often the religious fundamentalists of whom you speak, although the religious left is equally bad in my opinion with its ‘revolutionary’ fundamentalism. My 2 cents. Dianne

  5. Mina says:

    I appreciate your rant and agree with what you say. I also agree with the use of the OFF button and more should be said in praise of this little button and of decision to use it (in many contexts).

  6. Ananya N'Sta Phing - The Sage says:

    It’s the same with any people who are passionate about their way of life. They cannot allow people to have other opinions, because their way is the right way.

    Unfortunately, the shouty fundamentalists are the ones who give religions (and evolution [yes YOU Richard Dawkins]) a bad name, and the shouty ones are the people who get the most air-time. It is not possible to discuss things with people who have closed minds. I refer to Richard Dawkins taking on, sorry, in discussion with, Creationists a few years back.

    In my simplistic view of life, we are all trying to get on with one another, doing no harm to others, either directly or indirectly, so why can’t we all just say “Hello, neighbour, how are you, would you like a cup of [insert a beverage of your or your neighbour’s choice here]?” and work with the people rather than with their labels?


  7. friko says:

    Dear Freda, I couldn’t agree more. In my own household religion is a great cause for dissent with one particular family, which colours everything we do and say while they are around.

    I find deep spiritual meaning more and more when I am alone, perhaps in contemplation of nature or during a quiet moment when I am least looking for it.

    I am sorry you experienced such an unlovely Sunday morning.

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