Name three peaceful religions that you have no issue with.

(This is the 9th question in Brett Keane’s Atheist Challenge)

Name three peaceful religions that you have no issue with.

This is probably going to be my favorite question to answer, because I’ve had to do some research to answer it. I should state beforehand that I may not really be answering the question to the letter – it’s hard to have NO issue whatsoever with a religion. There’s always going to be something that I disagree with. So the answers I give here will be the peaceful religions that I have the least amount of issue with.

Here goes:

Unitarian Universalism – Accordng to Wikipedia, members “believe in complete and responsible freedom of speech, thought, belief, faith, and disposition. They believe that each person is free to search for his or her own personal truth on issues, such as the existence, nature, and meaning of life, deities, creation, and afterlife. UUs can come from any religious background, and hold beliefs from a variety of cultures or religions.”

A religion that welcomes atheists is a pretty radical concept, and it makes me wonder if it really qualifies as a religion and not something else, like a philosophy. But I respect their inclusiveness and promotion of individual choice. I’ve heard many anecdotes of people who have joined UU because they miss the community and ceremony of their previous faith, but were driven away by the dogma.

JainismWikipedia describes it thusly: “(A)n ancient dharmic religion from India that prescribes a path of non-violence for all forms of living beings in this world.” While I don’t share their belief in the existence of the soul, I do appreciate their tenets on respecting all life. They take it much farther than I prefer – not eating root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, or onions, because these plants are still alive when harvested, for example.

Buddhism – Possibly the fourth largest religion in the world, after Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism (according to Wikipedia). Buddhism is both a religion and a philosophy, and some have even referred to it as an atheistic religion (since followers do not believe in a specific god figure). It has tons of varying beliefs and traditions, but overall I respect their tenets of avoiding suffering and being excellent to each other.

There are others I could list – Wicca, for example, has always been interesting to me, and most of the people that I know who follow it are pretty nice and throw excellent parties, but I don’t know a lot about their tenets.  I’m sure that there are others that I don’t even know about yet – and I’m hoping I’ll learn a lot more from the comments I’ll get to this post!


1 Response to “Name three peaceful religions that you have no issue with.”

  1. September 2, 2010 at 3:46 am

    Yes, UUs are very accepting. My husband and I actually got married in a UU church, and ten minutes after meeting the minister (she was new to the church which my husband used to attend when he was a teen. He is also an atheist.) we were just like, “well, we don’t want any references to god, as we are atheists.” She was totally OK with that, even though she didn’t necessarily agree with us.

    We just wanted a nice place to get married, and he used to attend the UU church. His mom still did at the time, although she’s moved away since. I had never heard of Unitarians before I met him since I grew up in very Protestant West Michigan, but they seem like OK people. Part of the reason we had the wedding there was to appease some of my distant and religious relatives. They didn’t seem to notice that the ceremony was completely godless.

    Many UUs seem to be “mystic” types who are into things like that, which I’m not. But if they have no problem with me, that’s way ahead of other religions. As to whether it’s a religion, I’m not sure. They don’t all seem to agree on most things. I’d probably describe them more as a community, but they call themselves what they want, I suppose.

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I am an atheist, a person who does not believe in the existence of any gods.

Many people don't know a lot about atheists, and have questions about them. In this blog, I do my best to answer them, to help build an understanding between atheists and theists.

Do you have a question? You can post it in the comments to any of my blog entries, and I will do my best to answer it in a new entry.


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