Finding God on Gannon’s campus: Judgment of ‘rule breakers’ just as bad as breaking the rules

Finding God on Gannon’s campus: Judgment of ‘rule breakers’ just as bad as breaking the rules

Religions often have a lot of rules to follow, like don’t eat pork, fast on Lenten Fridays and women should dress modestly or cover their hair and faces.
Every religion has countless rules and they all exist for good reasons.
The thing I seem to notice about this, though, is that sometimes people get so hung up on following the rules as closely as possible that they don’t always remember why they’re following them, or they can forget other important teachings.
Keeping a big picture in mind is important with religion.
Harping on one specific commandment can cause people to lose sight of the true meaning of their beliefs.
At its core, Christianity is about love and acceptance.
I also think that this focus on rules can cause people to subconsciously start judging those inside and outside of their faith community.
Rules within religion are somewhat open to interpretation, and not everybody will interpret rules the same way every time.
For example, I might think I’m dressing up for Mass by wearing dark jeans and a nice sweater, while others find it unacceptable to wear jeans in church.
On the flip side, I could be the person dressing to the nines for a service and see a person stroll in wearing jeans and think it’s ridiculous of them to do that.
I could get worked up, angry even, at that person for coming to God’s house in such casual clothing.
I could let it bother me for the entirety of Mass and allow it to blur my mind from focusing on the service.
Or, I could stop and prevent myself from having clouded judgment. I could tell myself not to forget the other teachings of Christianity, such as not judging others.
I could move on with my day and still treat that person with love and respect even though our interpretation of an idea or rule is different.
Who knows, maybe this imaginary person can’t afford to buy nicer clothes. All that is known is that people are all different.
No two people are the same, no two circumstances are the same and no minds think exactly alike.
We all differ in small ways and in big ways, but we’re connected by just as many things as we have different from each other.
Being religious doesn’t mean we have to look down on those who are not or those who are of different faiths.
Religion is personal and should remain as such when it comes to passing judgments.
Avoiding the temptation of being the rule follower who shames those who break rules or slip up is important because everyone is bound to fall at some point.
Judge people without knowing them, and they may just be the one to help you back up when you fall.
Be kind, fight judgment and focus on the bigger picture of religion.

ADRIANA LASKY
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