Tolerance and Belief

Religious freedom has given birth to some interesting beliefs (outside of religious beliefs) as to how we should consider, think about, or believe about those who exercise their political freedom to believe what they want when that belief doesn’t coincide with our own.

Of course religious freedom means that we must tolerate each other’s beliefs: meaning that we don’t malign, hate, discriminate, or lash out verbally or physically against those who believe different than we do. And that includes those who believe in nothing at all.

 

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This freedom we enjoy, however, has also created some interesting beliefs of its own that do spill over into an almost “religious belief.”  To begin with, and which seems to stand to reason due to the fact that each religion is so divergent from the other is the concept of “Exclusive Belief.” This idea, simply put, is that a person believes that the religion he accepts as “gospel,” is the only true religion sanctioned by God and designed to bring about God’s will for mankind.  There is nothing new about this particular belief.

But the open mindedness that our religious tolerance has led to a newer concept: “Plurasim.” This idea is taking tolerance a step further by excluding the idea that there is only one true religion. God, in essence didn’t have a particular plan for mankind, but had many. This means that all religions are true – at least for those who practice that particular religion. This isn’t quite the same as taking tolerance to acceptance, but it is bringing it really close.

The final idea which religious tolerance has led to is the idea that one’s religion is the only true religion, but that other religions have elements of truth to them. This is more an “Inclusive Belief,” where though the other religions don’t quite get what God had in mind, they have stumbled across some of the true faith and are therefore partially correct in their thinking.

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Religions Of Peace And Of Violence ? It All Depends On Our Perspective

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Many persons try to categorize different religions on the basis of violence. Some religions are considered aggressive and violent while others are considered passive and peaceful. Well, Christianity was considered a violent religion during the Holy Crusades. Hinduism was considered a violent religion as compared to Buddhism which spoke of peace and harmony without excessive emphasis on rituals. Jainism focuses on an even more peaceful approach where killing a fly was considered as bad as killing a human being.

It is important to understand that religions are a bit like parents. Some parents may advise their children to be aggressive but that does not mean they want their children to get into unnecessary trouble, right? In the same way, some parents advise their kids to keep their head down and focus on studies. However, they don’t want their children to grow up as cowards, right?

A lot depends on the context in which instructions were given. Religions that are based on the life of a single individual must be understood in that context. A person who lived a few thousand years ago would obviously not have predicted the problems that we would face today. Of course, trying the solutions suggested by religion in a holistic and sincere manner will always provide good results.

However, the main reason for failure is that we lack faith in ourselves. We feel that having the biggest stick in hand makes us the safest. The truth is that all holy seers have suggested that dropping the stick and embracing the other person is the best way to ensure peace on the planet.

 

 

 

 

 

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Pants: Historical & Timeless

As far back as most people can remember, you notice that pants have been the most worn piece of clothing. Why? Pants are functional. A pant keeps the legs warm, safe, and in most cases allows mobility with safety in mind. While we have seen changes in the styles of pants over the years, they remain constant. They cover the legs, protect the legs, and allow you to move with minimal worry. Dereon pants are a great example of timeless fashion, modern fashion needs, and quality clothing.

Why are pants so functional? The most argued case in this instance is the protection aspect. While you see in most commercials that people go hiking in boots and shorts, this is not necessarily the most advised way to hike. There are many considerations to think about when hiking. From poisonous plants to snakes, wearing pants can protect your legs from dangers you might not see or understand. This reason alone is why pants will forever and always remain the number one, most functional piece of fashion. Functionality does not mean you must sacrifice fashion, with Dereon pants, you can protect your legs and remain functional at the same time.

Not all pieces of clothing are as functional as pants; shirts for example, may protect you from the sun, but not the poisonous plants and animals that may creep into your hiking experience. This is why you will see people for years to come wearing pants regardless of the economical climate or the so-called fashion “do’s and don’ts.

Jewish History in America

 

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The history of Judaism and the Jewish people is intertwined with the history of the world in which they lived. In spite of being persecuted, reviled and shunned at one time or another by every country where they sought dignity and the right to thrive, the Jews survived and flourished.

 

 

The foundation for the resilience of the Jewish people is in Judaism’s focus on a set of codes rather than on the temple or a priest. According to Jewish scholar Eli Burnbaum, these codes transformed the religion to one based on knowledge and leadership rather that family lines. The writing and compilation of the Oral Law into the Mishna and Talmud – the code of regulation in all Jewish life – also helped to unite and build Judaism’s modern foundation.

 

In America, another important contribution to the Jewish people’s unique view of themselves came from the Menorah Journal between 1915 and 1925. The publication stressed the importance of Jewish ethnicity and culture and contributed to the revival of American Jews’ recognition of their identity and uniqueness. The success of Jews in the United States is based on being accepted and the freedom to prosper. The culture has effectively united ethnic identity with the heritage of American citizenship

 

World-wide, Jewish values and culture remain strong. One of the core values of Judaism has always been philanthropy, which was originally directed at helping poor Jews. Today, that philanthropy is focused on hospitals, higher education and Israel.  Professionally, the highest numbers of Jews find their calling in business, academia and politics – areas in which they have historically excelled.

 

Jewish Immigration to the United States

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From the start, the immigration of Jews to the United States marked an important new direction for a people who, with few exceptions, had been persecuted throughout their history. It also set the stage for remarkable prosperity and growth for the Jewish people.

The first Jewish colony in the New World was established in Recif, Brazil in 1642. Seven years later, in 1649, the first Jew – Soloman Franco – immigrated to Boston from Spain via Holland. While he was initially unwelcomed, the matter was resolved and he stayed. In 1654, a group of 23 Sephardic Jews immigrated from Dutch Brazil to New Amsterdam (now New York City). By 1776 there were 2,500 Jews living in the colonies.

The first significant wave of Jewish immigrants began in 1826. German Jews began entering the United States and by 1850 the Jewish population had risen from 6,000 to 50,000. Ten years later the population was 150,000.  Most of this first wave were middle class professional and businessmen. The second and largest wave of European Jews began in 1881 and lasted until 1924. During this period, one third of Europe’s Jewish population immigrated to the US, swelling this population from 250,000 in 1881 to 4.5 million in 1924. The Emergency Quota Act of 1921 placed restrictions on the number of immigrants and dramatically slowed the influx of Jews through the end of World War II. The population of Jews peaked in 1937 at 3.7 percent.

Jewish immigrants brought with them the skills and talents that had allowed them to survive elsewhere – along with the drive to be succesful in business, academia and politics.

 

The Appeal of Islam

One way to encourage harmony among people of other faiths is to accept another person’s beliefs. Knowing the reasons why someone follows the Islamic religious movement helps to understand them better.  The process of accepting others involves knowing why others join a religion. The following are a few reasons that people are attracted to the Islam religion.

The statements below are not the only reasons to become a Muslim. Not all claims may apply to every Muslim due to people having their own individual motives. Remember to keep an open mind when considering other people’s opinions.

For many, the social unity is a factor in choosing to become a follower of Islam. They are part of a religion that believes in one God, Allah, and that his word was given to the prophet Muhammad. The words revealed to the prophet were used to construct the Quran, the religious text of the Islamic faith.

Identity and Unity

Many countries are in a constant state of influx, which elevates some groups and demotes others on the social hierarchy. The role of becoming a Muslim means achieving a higher identity status than that of your own country, village or clan. Members of the Islamic faith are a large grouping because followers are from different countries including Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

Set a Higher Standard

Another reason that Islam appeals to so many is that the religion provides standards that cover all aspects of life. The followers of Allah believe that his words revealed to Muhammad are the only true and not distorted word. They feel secure that principles are not altered to fit the shift into societal standards.

Islam’s religious text provides clear answers to questions regarding spirituality, home and other areas of life. Directions are given on food hygiene, the social contract of marriage and hygiene. Many appreciate the clear guidelines that Islamic faith endorses.

The Appeal of Christianity

The key to understanding others is becoming aware of why they support one idea over another. Choosing a religion to follow is a decision that many consider a difficult one. Knowing why people choose Christianity can help believers of other faiths to respect and display tolerance.

Christianity is a religion that believes in one God and the teachings of his son, Jesus Christ. Christians accept as true that God, through his son, came to earth in human form to save all people. Their religious text is the Holy Bible.

A Group Mentality

One attraction to this religious following is the sense of belonging that is gained when, becoming part of large group. Christians make up a large number of the population that makes it easy to find people that think the same way. A majority of Christians share the same views on politics and values, especially the issues of abortion and same sex marriage.

Love and Justice

A second reasoning that attracts Christianity is attributes of God and how he fits in people’s lives. The foremost concept is unconditional love that is guaranteed to all by their Father (God). An added reassurance for Christians is that justice is provided through God. This helps those who feel that bad actions should be punished.

Attainable

The fact that Christianity is available to everyone is cited as a reason to follow this religious movement. Unlike education or wealth, it is reassuring that God’s work and promise is for everyone. Examples are found in the bible of instances when Jesus aligns himself with the rich and poor.

The Appeal of Catholicism

One way to understand other religions is to recognize why members practice it. Catholicism has many members that remain followers throughout their lives. This written piece will uncover some of the reasons that people are Catholics.

The (Roman) Catholic Church is a Christian religion that has billions of followers. The leader of the Catholic Church is the Pope who lives in Vatican City. One aspect of the catholic faith is the high esteem for the mother of Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

People whose families are raised Catholic usually remain so for the rest of their lives. Listed below are a few of the reasons that Catholicism attracts so many people. The explanations do not apply to all catholic followers but is a combination from various groups.

Supportive Community

The most fascinating appeal of Catholicism may be their huge community support. People of this faith come together for mass and other occasions for the whole family to enjoy. Catholics participate in neighborhood and social events together more than other groups. They are more likely to hold similar political views and feel an attachment to their parish. The camaraderie of attending religious, political and entertainment events with the same type of people is a large reason that many remain catholic.

Educated and Nurtured

A large number of families that follow the catholic faith attend parochial schools. A foundation of parochial education is based on practices of the religion. This means that children start education and catholic principles early in life. As a child ages, the ideals are encouraged and embedded into their own values.

Mother and Child Affect

The bond of mother and child is highly visible and revered in the Catholic Church. The reason may be that it reflects the love that God shows his people to a mother for her child. For many, the love from a mother is the strongest bond throughout their lives and any religion that values it, is worth worship.

The Catholic Funeral

It is a ritual.  It is an important ritual.  If you are a Catholic and you lose a loved one, you know that there will be a few days preparation before the actual funeral.  It is said that these rituals are in place so that for at least a few days, we can override our grief reaction if just for a short time.  If you grow up in the Catholic faith, you have learned from little up that we are all hoping to share in God’s eternal kingdom one day.  It is the ultimate goal, to sit at the right hand of the Father for all eternity.  While we cannot fathom eternity, we almost feel a jealousy for those who have achieved it.  If a Catholic is admitted to the hospital and death is imminent a priest is called.  One of the Catholic sacraments is that of Last Rites, which has since changed its name to the Blessing Of The Sick.  It is in this sacrament that the ill person is blessed and prayed over, with those around him praying for a miraculous recovery or the strength to deal with whatever the Lord has coming.

Once someone dies, there are hymns to be chosen for the burial Mass.  There are readings to be chosen.  The person closest to the deceased will meet with the priest to plan the Mass, as well as possibly with the musical director.  Most Catholics have let their loved ones know which hymns they want at their funeral, which readings they want and whom they want to sing or do the readings.  We all say goodbye, we have a burial mass in which we share the celebration of the Eucharist and we then take our loved one to their final resting place, knowing that this only their earthly vessel, their soul is in Heaven with God.

The Chrisitan Holiday of Lent

Lent is a Christian tradition celebrated by Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants alike. The occurrence begins on Ash Wednesday and takes place until Easter. Prayer and self-denial are done to celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ.

People use the period of Lent as a time to shed old habits and reflect to become better. Activities include fasting, prayer, performing charity work and studying religious text. Some doctrines represent Ash Wednesday by applying ‘ash’ on followers’ foreheads.

Fasting

The act of fasting is done differently depending on the Christian group’s beliefs. Catholics are allowed one full meal and must abstain from products made from meat. Some groups, like eastern Catholics, uphold a more stringent fast with products to give up include meat, wine and dairy products.  Protestants may choose to withhold from other activities such as coffee or smoking instead of food.

Prayer

Some people use the custom of Lent as a time to start or increase their spiritual or prayer time. An additional prayer may be added daily or time set apart to reflect in silence for reflection. Places of worship may have more services available during this season.

Alms (Offerings)

Contributions are made to the church as tithes and offerings. These procurements are used to further the church’s mission, promote charity work and help the poor. These funds may be used to assist missionary work in other countries.

Scripture

Christians rely on reading the Bible to prepare them for life events and for spiritual growth. Churches may provide literature for members to read and meditate during the time of Lent.