3 Tips on the Etiquette of Religion

No matter how dedicated you are to your own religion, Modern Manners Guy explains how not to judge--or alienate--people with other beliefs.

Richie Frieman
5-minute read
Episode #309

I wouldn’t call myself a religious person, per se; I prefer to use the word spiritual. Don’t get me wrong--I am very proud to be Jewish, but I openly embrace many other religions, too.

In fact, growing up, I went to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve with family friends, and half of my extended family all married people outside of our religion. So being around people of varying religions is second nature to me.>

However, many people around the world believe that there are "right" and "wrong" ways to practice a religion--and many also have opinions on which religion is “correct."  When this happens, people forget their manners and focus more on a particular agenda, which is never helpful. So, let’s hop right into my top 3 quick and dirty tips for the etiquette of religion.

Tip #1: The Manner of Practice

Here’s the deal; I am incredibly proud of my religion, but I’m also very reformed in my practice. I can’t read Hebrew, I can’t even spell my Hebrew name, and the last time I was in temple was last month, for a family event--though prior to that, I honestly couldn’t tell you when I last attended. So does that make me a bad patron of my religion? Some may say yes, but I disagree.  

Growing up attending Sunday School, we were told what to do and how to practice. We had rules and guidelines, and frankly, as a youngster, I hated it. In fact, I viewed Sunday School as pure torture. However, even though I was a terrible student, I still enjoyed the family aspect of my religion--but sadly, the teacher didn’t grade on that.

Even though someone may not seem as “interested” in the “standard” way to practice, it does not mean they are not serious about how they view their religion. For example, I have a friend who is Muslim, and whenever we have lunch together, we order sandwiches that have bacon on them. In both of our religions, pork is considered a no-no, but we happen to think anything wrapped in bacon is amazing!

So here we are, two grown, adult professionals, with families, mortgages, and responsibilities, coming from different religions and enjoying our time together. Are you’re telling me that eating bacon is what’s going to make us “bad”? I hope not!

Sure, it’s against the “rules,” but I live my life by observing religion in the way that feels good to me and my family--which includes giving bacon a pass. I don’t think this should make me any "less Jewish,” simply because I view religion differently than others that go by the “book” (pun intended.) At the end of the day, it’s up to you to practice what feels right--and as long as you’re not hurting anyone, what does it matter?

Tip #2: Never Judge

I’m always shocked when someone believes their religion is sooooo much better than someone else's. Everyone should be allowed to preach their own gospel--especially since being “different” is a matter of perspective.

I can’t tell you all the rules of Judaism, for example, so I can’t even begin to comprehend the rules of other religions. And honestly, I don’t base my view of a person by their religious beliefs, anyway. You can be Christian, Buddhist, Atheist, or practice Dudeism (for all my "Big Lebowski" fans out there,) but as long as you are a kind-hearted and caring person, we’ll make out swimmingly.