Listening to Eric Clapton this morning the words “lately I been running on faith” got me thinking at a tangent about faith and in particular, the freedom to choose, or not as the case may be.

I have always valued my freedom… The freedom to have an opinion and to a certain extent, being able to voice it. The freedom to follow my beliefs whatever they may be, if in fact I have any. The freedom to make informed choice of what is right for me and most importantly, the freedom to live in a society that allows me to make those choices. But with the luxury of freedom comes responsibility…

We all have a responsibility to show some respect to our fellow human beings and also to respect their individual freedom of choice too. It is not sufficient to say you allow freedom of choice but only when that choice is the same as your own. You believe what you believe and just because another person has a contradicting belief, it doesn’t necessarily make that belief wrong.

I am talking particularly about religious belief and faith here however, although the same ethos should apply to any belief be it religious, political, ethical or any other type of social interaction issue. Now, anyone who knows me personally will know that I am as passionate about what I believe in as the next man however, I won’t try to force it down someone elses throat. What I will do is talk, debate and negotiate the subject. If someone chooses to come over to my way of thinking well great. If they choose not to that is also fine, just so long as they have listened to all the facts and issues and then made an informed decision.

If god disappeared the world be a lot more peaceful..just think of it.. A planet with no religious nuts bombing one another?! Awesome!!! (YouTube Comment)

My own particular brand of faith or religious belief is immaterial here as I advocate freedom of choice. So how is it that so many people can kill in the name of their religion or personal choice? If you chose a particular type of semi-detached house because you like it, or a Volvo estate car because it suits your needs, you don’t go out and kill all those who live in bungalows or own a BMW, or bomb Italy because it makes fancy sports cars you don’t like.

There is a distinct difference (and fine line unfortunately) between passion and fanaticism when exercising the freedom of choice. Having the former is great but the latter must be controlled… Absolute theological ideology is dangerous to mankind!

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