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Anti-Discrimination IV - Religion by ToxicAlice92 Anti-Discrimination IV - Religion by ToxicAlice92
Anti Discrimination Series

NOTE: Featured here by ~CalmCrash! [link]

Day 81/366

Anti-Discrimination IV: Religious
tl;dr Putting this at the top for a reason. lol No matter hwta religion you are, and especially Christians who don't seem to grasp this concept and command, judging someone based on the way they believe or assuming you know the deep spiritual truth about them when there's absolutely no way you could ever know that about anyone outside yourself, is shallow, childish, and their belief is no reason to judge or condemn someone.

This is going to be very controversial for a lot of people, especially those who are very devout to their religion, and Christians mainly, because it's the one I have personally struggled with growing up and can identify with the most. Now, while I personally believe more of what Christianity teaches and I can't honestly say I see all religion equally, what I do know is that religion is no reason, whatsoever, to condemn, judge, belittle, berate, or hurt someone. Anyone. And whether you're religious or not, I'm sure the vast majority of us can agree to that. I believe the only exception would be extremists and those who are part of a religion whose practices involve such.

NOTE 1:As I said, the only religion I can adequately identify with is Christianity, so as you read the description, if you are not of the Christian faith, or of any faith for that matter, I apologize to you in advance for being unable to relate to your teachings or beliefs, and I ask your forgiveness in that.

NOTE 2: I personally do not consider myself to be what is considered in today's society a modern Christian. While I personally define a Christian as one who follows the teachings of Christ as He speaks to me, which I try to do, a vast majority of many others would beg to disagree that it's as simple as that and throw the Bible in my face. I address my feeling regarding this below.

As Christians, we're taught to love all people, regardless of any difference between their selves and our selves. We're taught to question, "What would Jesus do?" and to act as either we believe He would act, or as He acted in the Bible. Now, I would like to clarify here, that while I do personally use the Bible as a tool and a guide to live my Life, I also don't doubt that along the way it may have lost some of its original meaning and acquired some unintended meaning. I say this because it was written by the hand of thousands upon thousands of men over thousands of years, translated into hundreds of languages, where there is no doubt misinterpretation - in the Bible itself, there is the story of the Tower of Babel where God intentionally created multiple languages in order to confuse people and prevent them from accurately understanding each other - and even in school, you learn that when the Bible's recorded books were first translated into English during King James' reign, he intentionally altered words to change the meaning and make it more appealing to his people. As well as, when Christianity became standardized in Constantinople, that standard was created by humans, and set up a man-made expectation. Also, people have different perceptions and understand things in various ways.

Now, in the Bible it lists what our sins are, how to be forgiven for them, and how to react to those who we see committing them. Being raised Baptist, I'm taught that God is a wrathful God who weeps when He has to punish a child because He loves us so. This I thoroughly believe. What they don't seem to teach in the church, that I have discovered through my own over the course of ten years or so, is that God will have mercy on those who are actively seeking Him and looking towards him. This have been proven to me time and time again in my own Life, so no matter what any human says to me, I have proof from God in my own Life to know that He does value His children and He will acknowledge their trials and attempts.

Adults who have countered my beliefs time and time again have always fallen when I point out to them that if they're addressing the Bible for their stand, the Pharisees also had many years of experience, and they refused to believe that Jesus was the Messiah. So, to politely disagree, your time of experience means nothing to me, for experience has been refuted before, and I believe that a relationship between you and God is just that. A relationship between you and God. No one else, no other man, no other human, should have any influence on that. It is personal, spiritual, and Holy.

I say all of this to state that absolutely no where in the Bible, if you are Christian and have been raised by the Bible, does it grant you the power to judge and condemn others. In fact, the opposite it true. Jesus says that we are to love ALL others the way He has loved us. To be very literal, we should be willing to die to save our fellow man, no matter what situation, what belief, what region, race, sexuality, gender, or who they are. Now of course, as humans, this is very difficult, as is not being judgmental. I myself am very, very guilty of this. However, if you are of the Christian faith, or anything resembling (I personally don't consider myself 'Christian' in the modern sense, nor do others who have ostracized my belief), then understand this. To try to walk in our Lord's is to do as He did. And as humans, that's impossible. So what's our best bet? To try. To attempt to refrain from judging and outcasting. We need to love and only perform in the act of love, kindness, honesty, and faith.

Also, I have seen a small group of Christians in my short time accuse Jews and Muslims of praying to a false God, and this is where it gets sickening. They are not, in fact, praying to a false God, but the same God. Only by another name. The Jewish call him Adonai and Muslims call him Allah. The distinct difference in these religions is not the name of God that we use, but our belief in Jesus Christ's position and role in our respective religion.

In the end, my point if this. Anyone, of any faith, should not judge or condemn someone for having a different belief. We are ALL human, and we ALL make mistakes. Period. I realize that as human, we will still judge inwardly as part of our human nature. However, that doesn't mean that we should act upon our judgment. If you are Christian, then you should understand that in judging other Christians, their relationship between their self and God is THEIR relationship with God, and frankly, none of your damn business. Focus on your own, for if you're belittle another's, then obviously yours is the one that needs to be checked. We are called and commanded to accept, love, and pray for others, and to offer help if we see them in need, not to push if they refuse it, and then to help them without hesitation if they call out. Nowhere are we called to do anything otherwise.

Warm Winter Project: 2012 - HALFWAY THERE!!!UPDATE 5 - As of March 21, 2011, we are already halfway there. The current time is 7 30 pm and we are, at the moment, EXACTLY AT 80,000 points! Talk about teamwork and gettin' it done, guys! This is so amazing and wonderful, and thank you so, so, so, so incredibly much to everyone for everything so far! :squee:

UPDATE 4 - As of January 16, I'm officially soon receiving a shipment of hoodies from :devSavoirfaire-Roma: that they so generously offered to donate in addition to the hoodies being purchased by the project here on deviantART!!!This is just awesome!!!

UPDATE 3 - As of January 6, we've broken the 50k mark on the War

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March 21, 2012
Florence, AL
Canon PowerShot SX130 IS


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TotallyDeviantLisa Featured By Owner May 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I love equality and respect for all! :D
BiGoDeViN28 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're Christian but you're pro-gay?
ToxicAlice92 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014  Professional Photographer
I am Alternative Christian, and I am in fact, pro-gay rights. What a Christian is MEANT to be is someone who follows the teachings of Christ; Compassion, acceptance, tolerance, Love. Christ said, "Love your neighbours." And that's exactly what I aim to do, Love everyone unconditionally and equally, just as He Loves us. When you Love someone, or even just respect them, you don't try to take away their rights or force them to conform to YOUR Lifestyle. You let them Live their Life, try to help them to the best of your ability and pray and care for them and be there for them when they need you, but you don't control them. That's not Love; That's tyranny.

Now as far as their rights go, there is the separation of Church and State, as well as the First Amendment to the rights of beliefs. We may be One Nation Founded Under God, however we are also a nation with the freedom of religions. Just because homosexual relationships are preached as being against one religion doesn't mean everyone believes that. Because not EVERYONE is a part of that religion, and therefore, Christians should not say, "Well, THEY shouldn't get married because /I/ don't believe in it." Who gives a fuck if one group of people don't believe in it? This is a freedom of religion country, and not EVERYONE is going to believe all exactly the same things. And even if you DO, because I do know gay men and lesbian women who consider themselves to be Christians, it's not another person's right to invade their privacy and dictate THEIR Lifestyle. It's equivalent to one man at a restaurant telling a women she's not allowed to have cake because he prefers pie; Selfish and shallow.
BiGoDeViN28 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The Christian religion, as Catholics and Jews, all follow the same rule of homosexuality being sexually immoral. Just because Jesus didn't say it, doesn't mean the rest of the Bible is completely void. I'm not telling you to hate gays or start protests against them. But allowing them to marry is saying you know what's right better than God.

Not to mention, legalizing or illegalizing anything church related is a direct violation of separation of Church and State. It shouldn't be a law at all and Church's should control it. In my opinion, they should be left to the moral choice of marrying queers or not. All the Government should be allowed to do is have a civil union between two gays. That's it.
ToxicAlice92 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014  Professional Photographer
Saying they're not allowed to marry is a direct violation of their rights as Americans and Humans. As I said, just because one group of people might not believe in it doesn't mean you should remove the rights of other people who don't believe the same thing. If Person A is against homosexuality and Person B is a homosexual person, then it doesn't matter what person A believes - Person B will STILL be gay. As I said, not everyone is going to believe the same things, and this is a country with FREEDOM of RELIGION, as well as "the pursuit of happiness" being listed as the right of an American citizen; Marriage is one of those things that we pursue in happiness. To have the ability to legally and openly show - HI. This is who I Love. This is who I want to spend the rest of my Life with, aren't they wonderful? To tell someone they're not allowed to do that because of their partner's gender is, and should be widely considered as, UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Because it is.

It's a direct violation of their right as American citizen, and a group of people being forced to deal with the fact that they can't marry someone because somebody else across the country who's never met them before doesn't think it's right is unreasonable and childish. It's also a direct violation of the First Amendment and it's Freedom of Religion stance; Person A is Jewish. Person B is not Jewish. Person A is forcing Person B from eating pork because Person A doesn't believe in it, then they are, in fact, violating Person B's First Amendment right to believe differently from them. Why should the same not be considered true to Christians and non-Christian gays who want to marry?

The are Holy marriages and there are also Legal marriages. I am fully pro-gay right simply because the there are Atheists who get married legally without religion being involved, so why the hell can't gay people get married legally without religion being involved? It's unfair, unconstitutional, and, put very simply, just not fuckin' right. Allowing Gays to marry has absolutely nothing to do with saying we know what's right better than God. It has to do with the fact that we're American citizens, we all have freedoms and rights, those freedom and rights should be available to ALL American citizens, especially because, not every damn American citizen is a Christian and follows a Christian faith or Lifestyle, so we shouldn't violate their rights and force them to.
Ashkinmor Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013
Its gonna be funny if she started heiling 
DiseasedxDisciple Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
While I agree with you that both judgement and discrimination are not only NOT called to be done in the Bible, but are expressly explained in detail to never be done, I feel discriminated against simply by being put into a category. Whether I was Pagan, Wiccan, Islamic, Hindu, Taoist, Buddhist, or Christian, there is simply one thing I don't like to see. People who criticize another person's beliefs or belief system. If I was Wiccan, why should I have to accept someone else's beliefs? If I am Christian, why should I be forced to not place a nativity or cross in public view on my own land? My point is this, of course from the majority of religions they view their religion as the only true religion. Surely one is right and the rest are wrong, but it isn't my place to present which one. Obviously in the end, whichever one is true will be obvious. BUT! Is it not enough to simply agree to disagree? No, I don't agree with Satanism, Wicca, Hindu or Islam, Buddhism, etc. But I don't go out and attack them with my words, art, pictures, etc. I simply acknowledge that they are human, and go on with my life. But I can't think of one religion that would be okay with you being apart of even one more religion, let alone more or all! As for myself in my beliefs, we are told to not accept any other belief system, but to respect those people as exactly that, people.

I guess what I'm trying to say here, is this COEXIST type stuff irritates me, because I see an equality in human life, not in religion. The religions will not, and should not have to coexist. But let's say for example that every single one of those gods are real. In the end, there is going to be one hell of a show down, and the winner can say "I told you so". But that's for the "higher up's" to duke out. For us people, yes, humans should coexist with each other no matter what religion, but as PEOPLE, not as "I'm Muslim coexisting with ____". But as "I'm John Fredricks coexisting with my neighbor, __________". I get tired of seeing "COEXIST" type logos/ideas/art/photos that try to make the religions coexist instead of the people.
TheWhiteJewel Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
Well said. I admire your honesty. <3

I have a lot of atheist friends and we don't often argue about religion but some of my friends are bi or gay and it irks me when they bring up the Bible stating that God doesn't want them and thinks they're sinning. I'm happy enough with them accepting what I believe and I respect what they don't. Every lives a different life so why should we try to control other people's?

Sorry, just realized I typed quite a bit; this is very well written and I love the photo. <3
ToxicAlice92 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Professional Photographer
All of mine who are Bi or anything are Christian. They know well that no matter what, God loves them (and I personally really can't stand when people say horrible things like "God hates fags" or something because A - Fags is SO disrespectful and B - He really doesn't). :( Did they grow up hearing that or being told that? Because if so, I can't believe people would ever say such a thing and allow them to believe it. :facepalm:

If you'd like, the next time you hear it, you can always point out that it was only ever mentioned in the Old Testament. When Christ died in the New Testament (assuming, of course, you take everything the Word says to heart), it was never mentioned and because of His sacrifice, none of the Old Testaments laws are praqcticed any longer. So, it's as if He never said anything about it, in my eyes, at least (and the eyes of many others). :) I hope your friends find peace in something, though. :( Everyone should really feel accepted. =/
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