Thursday, November 17, 2016

Let Me Live

So this morning on my way to work, a song popped up that I hadn’t heard in awhile. And it rang especially true given recent events. I found myself in tears, and hitting replay over and over. It inspired me to write, so here we are. Whether someone else sees it or it’s just me; it’s just one of those things that needs to be said.

We live in an America where we say we value freedom; the freedom to religion, the freedom of speech, to assemble, and to petition. We value life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Where all persons are created equal.

But we lose all of that when we try to dictate how others live their own lives. When we berate others for their differences. When we marginalize and try to limit the freedoms of another person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, place of origin.

This is America. Land of the free, home of the brave.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” - Lady Liberty

I had a conversation with a family member not too long ago about the right to religious freedom. He said, if everyone had the same God, we could all worship together. And, while I understand that for him, this idea was coming from a place of love, I wholeheartedly disagree. Let me tell you why.

In college, I majored in Humanities. I know, an odd thing to major in. But I fell in love with learning about different cultures, and especially religions. In my journey, I have had the absolute honor praising alongside Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus...all ideologies that I had previously thought would differ greatly from my own beliefs only to find...they didn’t. I was able to learn from each experience and apply what I learned to shape my own religious belief. Because of these experiences, I no longer claim any one religion. One reason because I don’t agree that any religion should create an “us and them” culture. Which, in my opinion, they all unintentionally do.

During my experience immersing myself in other religions, I didn’t feel like I was praising a different God or Gods, but that we were all praising the same. And I realized, even in my home church, the person sitting next to me has a completely different outlook and belief from my own, yet I would call them my religious equal - so why is it different outside our own church/religion? No two people believe the same thing in the same way because we are all a product of our own experience.

God, by any other name, is still God.

Think about it. If God wanted everyone to be the same, he would’ve created us that way. No, He created us all different so we would learn from one another and above all, accept one another as one family. I don’t know anyone who has never been called different for one reason or another. So why do we choose certain things like race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender, to create a barrier to separate us?

I challenge you to love others with open hearts, and to keep an open mind because you never know what you’ll learn from someone else's experience. You don’t have to agree, of course not. Love is not to tolerate, but to accept one another. In a world that is giving in to so much hate, I challenge you to love. Always love.

Here’s the song that inspired my rant: “Let Me Live" by Sick Puppies

“I don’t belong, you tell me I’m so different from you...why is that so wrong?”

“Can you see inside? I’m dying in a living hell but I’ll never pretend to be someone else. I’m not alright, but I will fight until the end, ‘cause I won’t let it go til you let me live.”

“The blood’s not on my hands it’s on your tongue, the words that cut so deep.
So go pledge your allegiance to digging your own grave, ‘cause I won’t be the victim of everything you hate.”


  1. Heather,
    I (Lisa) took a World Religions class in college about 10 years ago, it totally completely changed my outlook on the whole "church" thing, "God" thing, etc... what you have expressed made your Uncle tell me to read this, and wow, I would love to talk with you someday about all this, I concur with how you "see" all of this.

    1. Wow, thanks Lisa! It's amazing how learning about or experiencing something from another perspective changes our own. I look forward to someday chatting with you and getting your take on everything. :)