Let’s talk about spirituality

I would love to use something like the tikiwiki on my site to do cross-religious education. Religion serves as a cultural framework and also as a system for spiritual development and a forum for (some) ethical discussion. There has been an idea for folks to have what they call “interfaith” discussions, a sort of friendly exchange. The problem is that it’s normally just different sects of christianity getting together to talk.

The other problem with this kind of forum is that if people aren’t sensitive to the needs and beliefs of others, it is very easy to try to convert people, to turn it into a missionary event. I don’t like that. I don’t want to mess with other people’s religion. I want to make people stop and think, but that’s all. I also think that we are all better equipped to deal with each other and the world by learning about each other and where we’re coming from. Religion and spirituality is a huge part of that because, for lots of folks, it’s the basis of many values.

For example, I think that there is a ton for me to learn from Judaism, and that’s only from my limited experience, but I’m not exactly well equipped to go suggest things to myself. I can give lots of pointers on Catholicism, and some more general Christian spirituality, as well as some ideas on Buddhism as it is in China (as opposed to Japan and the US, which are very different). Another example… I have a friend who is Ba’hai, which is also very interesting, but I have next to no understanding of what he believes even though we share many of the same morals.

My friend Andre is another huge theological resource. He has amazing amounts of information, and lots of research that actually is very Christian yet challenges many things that Christians today blindly follow.

All of this is to say that I would like to create a “safe” community to talk about all this kind of stuff because it’s interesting, there’s lots to learn, I should be in solidarity with other spiritual folks… but that solidarity usually needs a good basis of understanding before it’s really heartfelt (but I don’t want me, or folks I talk with, to run around trying to convert each other… that’s not very respectful).

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