Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Religious Tolerance - A Bygone Virtue

Why is it that otherwise sensible and intelligent people often check these two admirable qualities at the door, so to speak, whenever it comes to religion? What is so threatening about someone else’s beliefs that they would deliberatlely deface and debase the beliefs of another?

In Charlotte the talk has been about ways to retort to “God Bless You” when someone cares enough to say it after you sneeze. I always thought “Thank You” was appropriate but lately it seems to be in vogue to retort with something like “I don’t believe in that crap.” I figure if you are asking God to bless me it can’t hurt and is probably a way of saying I care or I love you. So what’s the big deal?

Of course the religious crowd has it’s own faults- let’s see- book bannings and burnings, torture, shunning etc are all excesses of a fringe element of the religious crowd- but I reject the premise that to deface or disrespect another’s beliefs will solve the problem.

The left is continually bashing religion in the name of smiting the over zealous and their belief in a Higher Power. The result is not pretty. With all the supposed intelligence and sensitivity they claim to posess, they tear down what they don’t believe in- and for what end? To stifle freedom of thought? Isn’t that what they themselves complain about as the bane of organized religion? I just don’t get it.

Rejecting religion out of hand and ridiculing others for their beliefs is as sane as the Christians who believe that they posess the only “Stairway to Heaven.” And let's not forget Hitler, who debased a particular religion in a vain attempt to commit genocide of a whole race!

In the final analysis both sides are wrong and do nothing to contribute to Global Harmony. After all, if we each shove back against every perceived threat to our own sensibilities then all we have left is a throng of non humanity, left with little consideration for others.

No one forces you to read a Bible- and no one should try to marganilze you for reading one. The key to the whole global condition is mutual respect. Without that, we are lost.

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