A Bias

In anthropology, it is important to understand and work around your biases.They can stop you from being honest, from doing your best work and a whole host of other things. But I think it’s equally as important to understand your flaws. And I will admit: I found one of mine.

You see, I cannot seem to understand why there is so much aggression against people with spiritual beliefs other than your own. It makes no sense to me, and I obviously do not condone it. I have been on the receiving end of some heat, but that’s kinda my point.

If I were to classify myself under a spiritual belief system, I would pick first Paganism. I’m leaning towards Hoodoo currently, but I have lots to learn and miles to go before I sleep.Those two relate to each other in the same way that Baptists relate to Christianity as a whole: it’s just one facet of a bigger category. But that’s not really my point.

My point is that I have friends who are Pagan like me, Atheist, Agnostic, Lutheran, Catholic, Protestant and others. I have meaningful conversations with them, I encourage them and I value their insight. And when I was asked about it this week, I was really kind of…shocked.

I send encouragement to all my friends, if I see and am aware that they need it. It doesn’t matter if you think differently than I do, if you believe in a different story, a different way of life. If I am taking the time to seek you out and interact with you, it is because I value you as a person. That’s my bigger point.

So, when I say I have a bias I guess what I’m saying is that I have an inability to relate to people who are so convinced that they must isolate themselves into just one group of thought, one ethnicity, one place and never value the meaningful connections out there for them to tap into.

And for all of my friends who aren’t exactly copied from the same threads I am: thank you. Because if I speak only of my ability to have a relationship with each of you, it is only half of the story. You are there as well, giving an outsider a chance to be part of your connections.

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5 thoughts on “A Bias

  1. I think people who are such fervent religious devotees are afraid they might change their minds and their hearts if they are exposed to other information.
    I have a Jehova’s Witness neighbour and it irritates me that every time I see her she’s trying to convert me. It’s insulting actually.

    1. To be sure. I mean, obviously it is not all religious people, but the ones who use their beliefs as a shielding weapon are the kind who need their eyes opened most. It’s okay to have different truths. It’s just not okay to force other people into yours.

  2. Excellent post Michelle. I think that if people became more tolerant of a lot of different aspects of other people, the world would become a much better place. Hate me cause I’m a liberal Methodist? Why? I would rather someone ask me questions and let me believe what I want to believe than despise me for it. (sorry if this doesn’t make sense…I’m trying to beat my mania into submission!)

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