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Discussion 2 to A Miscellany 20
Where are the limits?

by Lynda Eyambe

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Maarten, I’m curious to find out where you think the limit should be.

Yesterday (Sunday) I was visiting my mother and she asked me why I don’t like going to church. All I could offer up by way of a barely audible explanation was “because its boring”. If I had told her what I really thought, she would have promptly ordered a prayer session in my honour, possibly involving some exorcism; never mind her tolerating it.

I agree with Wendy that tolerance is key as people embark on various journeys in search of The Truth. As if dealing with the different flavours of Judeo-Christian religions was not enough, the 21st century has ushered in a multitude of alternative and New Age practices.

I believe there should be no limits to what people choose to believe. Frankly, someone who wholeheartedly embraces God and takes It as fact is in no position to set limitations on the path others choose to take. The most popular and widely accepted opinion, as has been repeatedly shown throughout history (e.g. the world is flat?), is not necessarily accurate or even the most plausible one.

I say if purple unicorns give you a reason to live another day, and then by all means pray to your purple unicorns. If everyone showed tolerance and sought to understand, not necessarily agree with, a seemingly radical point of view rather than condemn it, several atrocities (holocaust, Spanish inquisition) would have never occurred and there certainly wouldn’t be so many negative Talk Backs on this site.

Perhaps what should concern the masses is not what belief system someone holds – be it purple unicorns, leprechauns or Satanism – but rather how practicing that belief encroaches on the quality of other people’s life. My atheism and/or agnosticism doesn’t take anything away from your faith and ability to pray and give thanks to your God. But should you be a Satanist and that requires you to offer up a blue-eyed toddler as sacrifice, then perhaps I may not be so tolerant. Otherwise, worship away.