I prefer not proselytizing in one direction or another. I have my views... They're my own, and that's fine.
While I'm not a religious person, I deeply value my Judeo-Christian upbringing. Before government took over the role of traditional family duties, families in this country used to live two or three generations in a house. Social security was having kids to take care of you when you got old - the same kids whose diapers you changed when you were younger. The rule of law started with simple teachings like the Ten Commandments. Don't kill, don't lie, don't steal, don't sleep with your neighbor's wife... pretty basic stuff. The concept of a Constitution partially came from The Rule of Benedict. He was a great thinker of his time. Benedict's influence on Constitutions is as powerful as Musashi's or Sun Tzu's influence on strategy.
Born-again Christians sometimes try to convert me. Don't ask me why...
I look over my reading glasses and say "You've got to be kidding!" Nobody converts a former Catholic. I've been an altar boy and the whole nine yards. Did the church thing with the fancy gown every day for years... I don't participate in organized religion now. But I so value the ethics that were instilled in me.
And I so don't want the f-ing government shoving their values down my throat. People need to learn ethics to live in a civilized society. Having a Little Red Book coming from Washington DC isn't my idea of where and how these should be taught either to me or to my kids. I'd rather have Hari Krishnas asking me for money at my door every day. I'd rather get beaten by nuns. Again...
Your heaven is my idea of bloody hell, TSDguy. Go figure!
The thing is... I'm a great believer in one of the Habits espoused by Steven Covey. I believe diversity is an asset and not a weakness. I believe we as a country are made stronger by the freedom to worship, or not to worship. Freedom from religious persecution was one of the founding principles of this country. It's one of the reason why - as an intern from Emory told me today - I have such a man-crush on Thomas Jefferson. Read the last paragraph of his Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom some time. It's freedom to practice religion, and freedom from a state sponsored religion. The yin and the yang of it is brilliant. It's one of the reason why he wanted that as one of the three achievements to be written on his tombstone.
My childhood friend who remains one of my friends was born a Jew. I was born a Catholic. He quickly became an atheist. But when he went to Rome, he got me a rosary blessed by the pope. It was a very thoughtful gesture, and a sign of the respect we had for each other and our beliefs. To this day he remains an atheist, and is a successful pediatric surgeon in Florida. And I do what I do. And we're better friends for our differences.
Respecting others' opinions is contagious.