The Sunday Lao Tzu: Worship

I do not concern myself with gods and spirits either good or evil nor do I serve any.

For a large proportion of the world’s population, today is a day of special significance, of worship and celebration. For many, it’s an excuse to eat chocolate. For everyone else, it’s just another day. I, like master Lao, choose not to ally myself to any deity or higher ruling power (prayers to the Gods of the London Orbital for safe passage not withstanding). This makes me no more or less right than those of you who will be in church today, or facing east, or lighting insence.

Faith is an essential part of the lives of hundreds of millions of people across the planet, and it would be churlish of me to sneer at them for their beliefs. If worship gives your life structure, a sense of significance and meaning, then so be it. Religion can give explanation, community, and comfort. I fully understand that. All I would ask is that you treat my worldset with the same respect. It’s an unfortunate fact that the simple inability of one religious group to respect the bounds and traditions of another has caused more strife and bloodshed then any other factor in the history of conflict on our angry little planet. That should not be the case.

The right to choose how you worship should never be subject to another’s opprobrium. If you choose not to be bound to any particular god, that too is a choice that is yours, yours alone, and one that should be universally respected. We live in a world too filled with wonders to be bogged down in petty disputes over liturgy, ritual or methods of prayer.

However you’re spending this glorious April day, may your gods be with you.