Saturday, December 27, 2008

Religious tolerance, not important in Mexico

According to an article in the New York Times, a survey among Americans found that 70 percent of them believe that people with different religion than theirs could have eternal life.

This survey make me think about how good it is to find tolerance for other religions, even if it is in other country. But also made me think that in Mexico tolerance is not popular at all.

In Mexico, unfortunately, I have found more signals of religious intolerance than more open minded people. For example, every now and then Jehovah's Witnesses knock on my door trying to convert me to their religion. Why? Is so wrong for them that there are different points of view, different ways to think about a greater power or even to think there's no greater power?

I respect their beliefs, I have heard their ideas before, but what gets on my nerves is that they are not capable to do this with MY beliefs. I also respect any other religion, but in Mexico when you say you have a different belief than the predominant, catholicism, it's probable that the person or persons you are talking to tries to change your point of view.

Is it too much to ask that, if I respect any other religion and their beliefs, they should respect mine? Sometimes I think they can't do this. And this makes me think that in general many Mexicans are intolerant with the differences they see. They would like everyone be the same, but the irony is there are a lot of "Mexicos": the poor Mexico, the rich Mexico, the educated Mexico, the illiterate Mexico, the magical Mexico, the ugly Mexico, the beautiful and touristic Mexico, the insecure Mexico.

We can't not be the same, we are not a cliché. People dislikes how other countries see us, for example, as people who still dresses like with those big 'charro' hats and uses horses, a rural Mexico, a Mexico where there's always someone sleeping under a nopal.

But then they want everyone to think and act the same. Isn't this incongruous? I wish they could learn and think the same than the people from the survey: that it is posible that good things happen to good people, no matter what they believe in.

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