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Policing Other People's Beliefs.

A young woman sits eating curried shrimp at her desk. This young lady had previously professed to being an Adventist. For those who are unaware, Adventists are forbidden by Adventist doctrine from eating shrimp and other shellfish.

An older woman watching this young lady indulge in this deliciously forbidden meal casually inquires as to why she is eating shrimp, when she is an Adventist. The young lady continues to eat, perhaps using her full mouth as an excuse to ignore this impertinent question.

Beliefs about what is right and wrong to eat aside, what really grabbed my attention about that exchange was the need that this older woman felt, to remind another person of their belief. Or more accurately, to remind another person of the rules of their professed faith, as religious rules and beliefs are quite different things.

While the comment was casual, it represents a common theme among religious people. They are self appointed police of other people's thoughts and actions. They are quick to impose rules and restrictions on others, even, apparently, ones that they don't subscribe to themselves.

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