–verb (used with object), verb (used without object), -ized, -iz·ing.
Definition: to convert or attempt to convert as a proselyte; recruit
That’s the word for the day folks, and I have a thought or three here.
In my humble opinion…. proselytizing is wrong.
I believe in the spirit of what the U.S. Constitution says…. Freedom of Religion.
Note I said “spirit.” I believe the intent there applies to ALL religions, so Jews are free to practice Judaism, Catholics their version of Christianity and so forth. This also applies to religions that either weren’t recognized then (like Wiccan), or religions that didn’t even exist back then, such as New Age, that are now considered religions…. or belief systems if you prefer that terminology.
As I said, I believe in the spirit of what they said, so I believe that it’s wrong for one person to try and convince another person that his or her belief system is the wrong one, and that theirs is preferable. For instance, it’s wrong for a Catholic to try to convert a Muslim and vice versa…
Well, maybe not try to convert… I’m a big believer in educating people, so it’s ok to tell a person what your beliefs are (if they ask for that knowledge, or seem to require it), but if they choose to not believe in your beliefs, that’s their choice. If at that point, the proselytizer continues… THEN it’s wrong.
I even remember something in the bible about it…. Jesus said somewhere (Corinthians I think) that if they be ignorant, let them be ignorant.
Unlike some Christians, I’m NOT taking this out of context if I remember correctly from Sunday School oh so many, many years ago. To paraphrase what I remmeber from the verse …. someone asked Jesus about preaching and his response was to spread the word, but if they still chose to be ignorant, it was their choice.
So it’s ok to tell people about your belief, but it’s wrong to try and force them to believe as you do… this is my basic problem with ALL religions. It’s the “we’re right and you’re wrong” attitude that makes me walk away every time. “We get into Heaven, and you’re going to Hell — neener neener.”
So, if I don’t believe in the same things you do….?
That’s my choice to make.
Yours is whether or not to accept my decision and continue interacting with me, knowing I don’t worship (for lack of a better word) the same way as you.
Simple enough really.
If I say anymore, then I guess I’m guilty of what I’m condeming in others.
Your choice to make.