Religion & Beliefs

What makes you uncomfortable?

What makes you feel a little creepy? What makes you uncomfortable?  I, for one, find online prayer circles to be a bewildering and freaky thing.  And sad.  But look how many of them you'll find at Beliefnet! Of course, maybe … Read More

By / November 27, 2006

What makes you feel a little creepy? What makes you uncomfortable? 

I, for one, find online prayer circles to be a bewildering and freaky thing.  And sad.  But look how many of them you'll find at Beliefnet!

Of course, maybe you like prayer circles, and are instead made uncomfortable by Borat. 

Like this guy, who offers up a brilliant thought, "I hate John Stewart. I hate Borat. I hate Hilary Clinton, and her whole bastard communist family. I hate MTV, VH1, and the modern day philistines that bow to their programming like it's some sort of idol. Personally, I wouldn't mind shoving every one of you in front of traffic."

Maybe you're made uncomfortable by that guy (I am, a little) and maybe you're made uncomfortable by me (I hope not).

But I mention this now because I think being uncomfortable is really really important.  For faith, but also for education in general (which is, for me a big part of faith).  I think we learn things when we find ourselves uneasy. 

If we're willing to ask ourselves WHY we're uneasy… If we're willing to push through the uncomfortable moment and learn something about ourselves.

Which is not to say that the person (or thing or idea) making us uneasy is RIGHT, and we should switch teams, submit to the uncomfortable idea…

But so often these moments get turned into us or them moments, and those moments are pretty useless.

This comes up today because of the Thanksgiving weekend.  Last night, I chatted with a friend who had just finished an awkward family dinner with her step-family, and while I'd not had such a dinner myself, I had experienced an awkward moment, when my in laws prayed before dinner (they're Catholic). 

Funny thing?  Since I grew up in an intermarried (Catholic/Jewish) family, I'm NOT uncomfortable with Catholic prayers, but I am uncomfortable with people crossing themselves, since my mom never did that.

How random is that?  I'm not bothered at all by a prayer which says "… which we are about to receive through Christ our Lord… Amen!"  But the simple motion of a hand across a chest makes me feel funny…

Funnier than Borat. 

Which is something for me to ponder, and learn from.

Are there religious ideas, traditions, words that make you uneasy?  Fess up! What makes you squirm?