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Blogity-blah-blah-blog: Deep Thought Thursday ~ Just Be

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Deep Thought Thursday ~ Just Be

The other day I watched a documentary by Morgan Spurlock called "Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?" He's the guy that directed the documentary "Supersize Me" and was the producer of the documentary "What Would Jesus Buy?" He also did a short series called "30 Days" which lasted only eight episodes but I haven't seen those yet. But today's post isn't about Morgan even though he is worth talking about later on down the road.

I don't want to spoil the "Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden" documentary for you but there is an important point that came up in that film. As Morgan traveled to places like Morocco, Israel, Egypt, and Afghanistan in search of Osama he learned that the people of these countries are just like anyone else. They get up, they go to work, they spend time with their families, and they watch TV. They laugh, they love, they live. Not everyone is involved in Al-Qaeda or terrorism, even though that's what the news media seems to want everyone to think.

One thing the news media is infamous for is only showing the extremists of a particular group. Last Monday I talked about an extremist group that thinks they are representatives of Jesus Christ and the church even though their ideas and actions are many times the opposite of Jesus's teachings and actions. This group has received a lot of media coverage. You can read that blog here if you haven't already. It's the same thing that happens with media coverage in the Middle East, they only show the extremists, the people in the streets with anti-American signs. The media doesn't come right out and say it, but they twist words and ideas to try to make people think "Here is this group of people, this is what they do, this is why we should hate anyone who refers to themselves as belonging to this group." They do it subliminally in a way. I can't say that all the news media outlets are like this because then I would be stereotyping them. There is a good movie called "Mad City" and it stars Dustin Hoffman and John Travolta. This film is a good example of how the news media can get out of control by manipulating stories for the sake of ratings.

So many of these extremist groups tend to get violent. Not always physically violent, but violent in their words as well. Eboo Patel, the executive director of Interfaith Youth Core once said, "The violent people of all religions belong to one religion, the religion of violence." By the way, Eboo is one of the coolest names I've ever heard.

I've said before that I do not promote universalism which is basically a mish-mash of all faiths and religions into one uneven clump, but I do promote getting along with people of other faiths and religions without conflict. I also don't believe in making people into projects. What I mean by that is acting like you are befriending someone just to try and convince them to believe what you believe. That is so wrong, it is not true friendship. I just want to live my life by trying to follow Jesus's teachings and if anyone asks why I live my life the way I do I will share that with them and if that interests them and they want to experience and explore that, then great!

It was St. Francis of Assisi who said, "
Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words." When I hear that it reminds me to just be myself instead of trying to convince people to belive what I believe. Too many people try to practice their faith or religion as if it's some kind of chore and they have to do this and they have to do that. I just want to say stop doing and just be. Live your life and take what you believe and just be who you are with that. Don't try to be someone you're not because people will see how fake you are. Don't pretend to be someone's friend, just be a friend. Don't pretend to love, just love, unconditionally, regardless of what others believe. Don't pretend to be perfect, just be imperfect, make mistakes, have doubts, ask questions.

I want to end this post with this statement: If we are to achieve world peace it will not come about because everyone believes the same thing, it will come about because we will all agree to disagree with each other. Unfortunately we will never see world peace because there will always be those who disagree with this statement.

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