Unity of religions, but what about the rest of us?

There has been a big show of unity amongst different religions around New Zealand, but one thing has been missing – being inclusive of those who don’t follow a religion.

However Jacinda Ardern’;s example did quietly demonstrate that the religious and the non-religious can co-exist haarmoniously in New Zealand.

From ‘We are all forever changed’: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reflects on the week

“I consider myself to be agnostic, but given I was raised in a religious household, I like to think I’m very open-minded to everyone’s choices and faiths and their ways of life.” 

I’m pleased she has said that. One think missing from a lot of what I have seen, and specifically from the Dunedin vigil, was recognition that many New Zealanders don’t practice and don’t believe in religion. It was good to see the joining of many different religions in a common purpose, but they were not inclusive of those who live outside the religious world. But this is a minor quibble given the circumstances.

The religion question nudged at an even greater one, about how people find a way through dark experiences like this.

“I think if you still have an absolute faith in humanity, and I still have that.”

Many people find strength and support in religious faith, so religion is good for them.

But non religious people can also have faith, without a god, like faith in humanity. The religious and the non-religious could understand each other a bit better and accept each that we have varying belief systems.

With Ardern’s leadership we may move towards better understanding and tolerance of different religions and religious practices, as well as recognising that non-religious people can have faith and humanity like anyone else.

Both the religious and the non-religious can live alongside each other accepting their differences – this is a significant positive of living in New Zealand. There are exceptions, but it is generally the case.

 

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27 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  24th March 2019

    The thing I dislike about being non religious is being lumped in with- for want of a better description- fundamentalist atheists. These nuts spend their whole lives trying to prove God doesn’t exist. Just not believing in God and being non religious isn’t enough for them. They make a religion out of not believing.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  24th March 2019

      Actually there is nothing I don’t like about being non-religious. I can be friends with and tease whoever I like.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  24th March 2019

        So you have never had the: Ah!! you don’t believe in God? It usually happens to me in situations were I can’t tell them to fugg off. Unfortunately I can’t summons the will power to tease them. That would be fun I must admit.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  24th March 2019

          I can’t recall the last time I had that reaction. I suspect that by the time conversation gets around to that topic folk know me too well. And it’s not one I push. I’m a live and let live kind of guy. I even get on with Lefties though not the loony kind.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  24th March 2019

            surprised to learn there is any other ‘kind’ in your deluded …world.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  24th March 2019

              I suspect there isn’t in yours, B.

    • phantom snowflake

       /  24th March 2019

      In my view this blog has a strong undercurrent of something similar to the “fundamentalist atheism” which you refer to; or at least a hard atheist/skeptical/rationalist streak. Anyone who expresses any spiritual or religious-type beliefs gets savaged. No dissent permitted!

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  24th March 2019

        I’m in serious danger of agreeing with you, snowflake. The virulent reaction to Mother has shown this.

        I’m presuming it reflects religious pressures folk have experienced and resent.

        Reply
      • Conspiratoor

         /  24th March 2019

        Agreed, although born again christians who put themselves out there so publicly also tend to get tagged as ‘fundamentalists’.
        Personally i get turned off less by mother than the serial abusers on this blog, although i wish she wasnt so damn long winded

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  24th March 2019

          Touche!

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  24th March 2019

            So do I, and I wish that she wasn’t so selfrighteous. That’s why people lose their tempers, I think; she is also not above trolling and putting words in people’s mouths, which annoys everyone…

            Reply
      • MaureenW

         /  24th March 2019

        There’s space and tolerance for contextual spiritual meanderings – but every day, on every post on every thread becomes fundamentalist blabbering.
        I don’t mind politely advising religious doorknockers that I’m not a target for their fear-mongering and magazines, but become less polite if they carry on regardless.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  24th March 2019

          I find that they are usually quite good, and I once had a long conversation with one about all sorts of things, such as one has with a friend. I now tell them that my husband was a clergyman (slight exaggeration, he was about to be ordained when he died) and show them the icons.

          One man was a real pest; I was just going out the back door when he knocked at the front door. We’d just had 10 murders in a fortnight. What did I think of this ? I said it was probably a blip (which it was) but was ignored as he only wanted to say what HE thought at length…and did…

          Reply
          • MaureenW

             /  24th March 2019

            I don’t know if it was a coinincidence or not, but I haven’t had any door-knockers for a couple of years – but the morning following the ChCh event, two people followed my up the drive around 9.30am with their Awake magazine asking if I was worried about the “world”. Talk about opportunistic? I was pleasant enough but told them there was better targets for their material elsewhere – they went on their way.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  24th March 2019

              I still laugh at the memory of coming home with two friends and seeing the JWs at my gate. We drove on down the road and hoped that they’d be gone when we came back. No, they were at the door (we weren’t dropping my old man in it, he was away) so down we went in the other direction. They’d seen us by this time. We came back and they were STILL THERE ! It was obvious that we were trying to avoid them and we’d made eye contact by this time. The next time they were at the gate, and the NEXT time they were walking away…I realised that they’d have thought it was Dell and John who lived there and prayed for these laughing sinners (both church-going Christians) that night.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  24th March 2019

              Good heavens, Kitty. I find “Not interested, thanks. Cheers.” does the trick in seconds before they can open their mouths.

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  24th March 2019

    As I said a few days ago, my hope is that the religious in New Zealand will accept that theirs is not the one true faith. That seems to me to be the essence of a secular democracy.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  24th March 2019

      I’d rather that they accepted that other people believed differently and agree to differ.

      The next person who tells me about a ‘completed Jew’ will be given a very rude answer.

      Reply
    • MaureenW

       /  24th March 2019

      That theirs is the one true faith is also the central tenet of religions – hence the clash

      Reply
  3. Zedd

     /  24th March 2019

    a gathering of angels.. appeared above m head 🙂

    Reply
  4. Corky

     /  24th March 2019

    ”Unity of religions, but what about the rest of us?”

    Bishop Brian makes a valid point. Christian leaders need to explain themselves. Can you have unity without selling out or compromising? Would Islam allow similar?

    ttps://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/destinys-brian-tamaki-strongly-denounces-use-islamic-call-prayer-victims-christchurch-terror-attacks?variant=tb_v_1

    Reply
  1. Unity of religions, but what about the rest of us? — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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