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How Do I Not Get Angry with Fundamentalists?

Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler

<em>Edit Article</em> How Do I Not Get Angry with Fundamentalists?

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Q: What can I do not to get angry when fundamentalists bludgeon me with their religion?Rabbi Rami: Practice compassionate curiosity, and listen carefully to their beliefs and concerns. The fundamentalists I have known inhabit an anxious and fear-filled world where God, the afterlife, difference and diversity, and even their own thoughts and feelings are problematized. When you understand the enormity of their fears, your heart will break and you will embrace them with kindness even as you reject their theology and resist their politics.I’m not Christian and hate it when store clerks wish me “Merry Christmas.” How do you handle this?For me this goes way beyond Christmas. I resent being told to “Have a nice day!” Maybe I want a crappy day. And when people say, “Take care!” I’m infuriated by the assumption that without their intervention I would live carelessly. And when they say, “God bless you” I demand to know which God they have in mind. So yes, when people wish me “Merry Christmas”—by which they mean “May this be a season of hope and peace for you and all humankind”—I, like you, am deeply offende …

Author and teacher Rabbi Rami Shapiro has been called “one of the best bridges of Eastern and Western wisdom.” His newest book is Embracing the Divine Feminine.

Rabbi Rami Shipiro

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His spiritual advice column, “Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler,” addresses reader questions pertaining to religion, spirituality, faith, family, God, social issues, and more. His latest book is Surrendered—The Sacred Art: Shattering the Illusion of Control and Falling into Grace with Twelve-Step Spirituality.

He has this to say about religion: “To me, religions are like languages: no language is true or false; all languages are of human origin; each language reflects and shapes the mindset of the civilization that speaks it; there are things you can say in one language that you cannot say or cannot say as well in another; and the more languages you know, the more nuanced your understanding of life. Judaism is my mother tongue, yet in matters of the spirit I strive to be multi-lingual. In the end, however, the deepest language of the soul is silence.”

Register now for Rabbi Rami's new online course, The Sacred Art of Forgiveness

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