A recent report, "Freedom of Thought 2012," has delineated global prejudice against "non-believers." According to the report, "there are laws that deny atheists' right to exist, curtail their freedom of belief and expression, revoke their right to citizenship, restrict their right to marry."
Here in America, we are proud of "free speech," yet seven states prohibit atheists from holding public office.
Elsewhere, there's a range of punishments all the way up to execution. In other words, believe in God, or else!
No wonder young people are fleeing organized religion in droves. Where are they headed? Spirituality. Spirituality, not religion. Religion hinges on beliefs, spirituality on experience. Religion pits one belief against another (or all others) while spirituality embraces all beliefs in the fundamental concept of "oneness."
If we are shocked that someone could be executed for admitting that they don't believe in God, take a moment to realize it's actually happening right now in many corners of the world. And historians estimate that up to 90% of all wars started as religious conflicts.
The lesson for us? What beliefs do we hold so strongly that we are unconsciously judging others who may think differently? That's not oneness. It's not even kind. Here's a simple barometer of where we are in our personal growth: how accepting are we of others with different beliefs, especially about "God?"