‘Held accountable for ignorance in religion’
To the editor:
Re: Saverio Sasso’s US Citizens Coming To Proselytize In Okanagan, (Aug. 15 Capital News), I have had members of several religious denominations knocking on my door for years.
As someone who wants to know more about other religions, I always answer the door, have a chat, and on occasions invite them in and offer them coffee or a cup of tea. Equally, immaterial of from where they come from, I ask questions.
My first question has always been: If, as human beings, we do the right things like helping those in need, not deliberately hurting people, we do not engage in mischievous activities, and, most importantly, we live with a clean heart and a clear consciousness, do we need any religion?
Of course I expect an answer. I then proceed to the next question: I am going on the assumption we will be rewarded for our good deeds on Earth and may suffer serious consequences for bad ones. Hence, we are aware of the concepts of Heaven and Hell. How do we know we are not playing it safe to avoid Hell?
And, the final question: Let us be positive and do things specific religions prescribe and preach. Almighty God is pleased with our actions on Earth and we are ushered into Heaven, greeted by angels, etc. Will we meet our loved ones? What if they have been bad boys and girls and did not make it into Heaven, will we be happy?
On most occasions, these ambassadors of God would open a holy book and would read me a paragraph or two. I would listen carefully and I would not make a federal case out of any answer, whether I agree or not.
This has been going on for years. Very often, I would be introduced to newcomers learning the trade, and recently to a young man from Hong Kong. He was fascinating. Whenever I would ask a question, I could see his mind firing on all cylinders, especially when I made a comment about collecting Air Miles or something through our propagating our faith, expecting a reward at the end.
I share with my visitors that in my religion, the basic qualities of a healthy mind and what it will enable a person to do is described in the Quran. Mind and reason are an essential part of Islamic thought and legislation. One could not exist without the other.
In conclusion, a person who has a good mind, and then chooses not to use it, or restrain it from thinking logically when it comes to matters of religion and faith could end up being one of the unfaithful, held accountable for his ignorance in religion.