Mixing religion and politics is a dangerous brew

I know this is late. I should have sent out two blogs by now.

I’m struggling with this one. Not with writing—I’m writing more than I have in years—but with this particular topic. It’s religious and political, two subjects I try to steer clear of talking about in almost all company, save my immediate family, because they tend to be so intensely polarising.

One of the school groups I’m part of, has prided itself on being able to incorporate and absorb all perspectives and opinions. We’ve known one another since our early teens, and were in boarding school together. So we literally have seen one another in all possible scenarios. These are guys with friendships that go back over 40 years, and for 5 of those years, we lived together. We shared rooms, bathrooms, showers, clothes, food, opinions, fears and aspirations. 

There are no formalities between us, nothing is off limits. No offence is ever intended, and if offence is taken, the booing from the rest of the batchmates, sorts that out quickly. We know we’re all different, we think differently, we act differently, we pray, love and dress differently. And that’s ok. You be you, I’ll be me. 

Love is absolute. I don’t have to agree with everything you say or do, to love you.

Friends, who are like brothers, closer, in many ways, are no longer speaking to one another because of the socio-political-religious issues that are being discussed these days. Politics and religion when combined, have resulted in many of these life-long friendships being re-evaluated, and in some cases, broken. 

It is a dangerous brew, mixing god with politics. It can spiral out of control very easily.

It is very saddening.

You may recall, from my last post, that I’m writing a novel. In the world that it is set, there are six mythological / historical figures from whom a moral compass is taken. One of them, Dayl, comes close to my personal beliefs. I quote:

… people are basically decent, and there is no good or evil in the world. There are easy and difficult times, simple and complicated decisions, clear and conflicted situations. People, being imperfect, respond to their reality, as best as they know how. In the process, someone may get hurt, another may get offended, and a third may be indifferent. As such, if one is able to understand the reasons, the reality of another’s decision and situation, if one understands the context, then there is no cause to be upset. Further, if there is no cause for grievance, then there is no cause for anger, redressal or vengeance. There is only kindness and empathy. Never cause for violence.

We all should put ourselves in others’ shoes.

I’ll stop here, before someone gets riled up.


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