A Muslim, a Jew, a Christian, a Hindu, a Pagan and an Atheist all walk and talk amicably
It’s conference time again. The streets of downtown Salt Lake City are filled with the super-faithful delivering vital messages in sundry meetings. But it’s not just Mormons. The Parliament of the World’s Religions is holding its 2015 gathering at the Salt Palace Convention Center.
It’s a major undertaking. The idea is that 10,000 people representing 80 nations and 50 faiths will come together in one place with the expectation that despite all the differences, no one will hurt anyone else on purpose.
Despite the poor reputation religions have for playing well together, I think cooperation is possible. I’m not the only one who thinks this way. “A Muslim, a Jew, a Christian, a Hindu, a pagan and an atheist all walk into a coffee shop. They talk, laugh, do henna on each other, and become good friends. It’s not a joke. Maybe this sounds so easy to me because I’m already a member of the one true religion on earth today.
I hear what you’re thinking. “Great. He’s Mormon. Now he’s going to bear his testimony.” Well, you’re right. Sort of. Here goes.
Brothers and sisters, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that there is only one true church on the earth today. It’s the Church of Human Foolishness. Amen.
I didn’t start this church. No angel, heavenly being, good witch/bad witch, chariot of fire, monkey god, or scary beam of light appeared and told me what to do. CHF just is.
Get mad all you want—which will only prove my point—but you’re a member of CHF as well. Rastafarian, Mormon, Pentecostal, Buddhist, Taoist, Jew, crystal gazer, Muslim, atheist, or Coven of Pot Stirring Crones, you are first and foremost a member of the Church of Human Foolishness.
Whatever else we claim to be is just a religious add-on. As human beings, we all were born into the CHF. Our trinity, godhead, or whatever consists of a Fallible Brain, Hyperactive Ego, and the abiding influence of the Holy Xenophobia.
Don’t bother praying about it. I offer as proof the entire course of human history. Roughly 200,000 years or so of treating each other exactly the way we wouldn’t want to be treated ourselves, millennia of turning petty differences into worldwide crises.
Want a more recent example? OK, fine. Here’s an extreme one. Earlier this week, members of the Word of Life church in New Hartford, N.Y., tried to convince a 19-year-old boy to confess his sins and ask for forgiveness. How? By beating him until he died. Note: I can’t understand how things got that far. I would have confessed to eating babies after the first punch.
The congregation — which included the boy’s parents — didn’t mean to kill him. Things just got out of hand. But that’s what happens when you fail to acknowledge your prime membership in the largest and most provable faith in the world. It’s not entirely hopeless. Once we recognize we’re members of CHF, we can in fact do something about it.
We can be a little more careful and humble in the practice of our various add-on faiths. Get humble enough, and it’s possible to get kicked out of the CHF. Or so I hear. It hasn’t happened to me. But if enough of us left the one true church, maybe we could get around to solving some serious problems.