I guess I should start off by saying I do believe in GOD and will proudly advise anyone who asks, that I am a Christian.
I have worked in different Middle Eastern countries from Summer 2002 until late April 2009 when I secured my current position in Kazakhstan. Over the last (almost) 12 years, I can't count how many in-depth conversations about religion, the differences between the 3 major belief systems, the comparisons between them, similarities etc, the list goes on and on.
When I was at work for my rotation in April, I was standing around the bar in our accommodation dome with 3 or 4 Americans that worked for the oil company and they started to talk about religion.....Rule #1 when in a bar: Do not talk about religion or politics!!!!
I quietly stood there until someone asked me the fateful question....'Dave, what do you think about all this (religion)??'
I replied, 'Honestly? Organized (and I over-emphasized this) Religion is for the weak and feeble minded who can't decide right from wrong for themselves and need someone to tell them how to live their lives.'..............WELL, you could have heard a pin drop for about 5 seconds, then the conversation quickly changed to the last televised hockey game. I think I made a few acquaintances unhappy but I got respect for speaking my mind from 2 others who were standing there.
What really burns my butt are people who take what they learn from the media and local coffee shops, take it as truth and make judgements on lives and religions that they have never 'lived' for themselves. I find it increasingly hard to keep my lip shut when I read, watch or overhear conversations by uneducated, uncultured bozo's who think they have it all figured out.
Be a benefit to those around you. Help others whenever you have the opportunity. Love and cherish your family, friends and community. Accept difference of opinion and be willing to accept and love others for who they are and not what they are. Actions speak volumes of a person's integrity.............
Live and love every day like it is your last.