I made a New Year’s blog back in January, and one of my resolutions were to go to more interfaith events.
And when I say “interfaith,” I do not mean “inner-faith.” I have had difficulty explaining this before, but a lovely Anthropology and Religious Studies major explained it perfectly.
“Inner-faith” is when one talks about their religion, or talk about why they have no religion, and compare and contrast it with other religions as a way to show why, in their reasoning, is better than all of the other religions and the non-religions.
However, “Interfaith” refers to people of religious and non-religious individuals coming together to find common ground, while still agreeing to disagree; legitimately respecting one another. Wanting to know more about one another’s backgrounds, and how it helps them interact with one another in a healthy community.
I actually attended the Interfaith Youth Core Conference in Atlanta, Georgia back in late January. It is a conference for college students trying to bring interfaith community on their campuses. Therefore, this conference helped us learn how to be a part of the Better Together Campaign, an international interfaith movement all across universities.
It has made me understand so much more in terms of why religious and non-religious identity matters, especially in terms of social justice. Religion is a platform that leads us to talking about how the relates to race, sexuality, mental illness, disability, socioeconomic status, gender, and so, so much more.
I had the opportunity to learn more about why I, as a Christian, should be pursuing interfaith work. Especially with the amount of Christian privilege in this country and how Christianity has been used as a tool to harm others, when it shouldn’t. There are other examples with other faiths as well, but in America, specifically, Christianity has been, and still is, a big one.
Since then, my fellow peers, advisor, and I began the process of forming a Better Together organization at East Carolina University. And I am so excited and honored to being more involved in this movement.
A lot of my posts have been about my Christian faith, and very little have I mentioned other faiths.
“Write what you know” is the best and worst advice a writer can receive. What I said prior is an example of why.
Not that I will stop talking about my Christian faith, because how can I encourage others to talk about their own faith or non-faith if I can’t? Moreover, there are passages in Scripture for why this is another important facet of social justice and the pursuit of equality.
I honestly did not think that a New Year’s resolution would grow to have this much of an impact on me.