Religious Tolerance

Maybe you’ve seen the “Coexist” bumper sticker to the left or one similar to it containing the word “Tolerance” or “Respect.”  Personally, I’ve seen several vehicles with these bumper stickers on them in the last few months.  As I’m sure you have figured out on your own, what these bumper stickers are promoting is “religious tolerance.”  Each letter of the word, “coexist” represents a different religion or world view.

  • C = Islam
  • O = Peace
  • E = Male/Female Equality
  • X = Judaism
  • I = Wicca/Paganism
  • S = Taoism
  • T = Christianity

While the above message may give one the “warm fuzzies,” I’m not so sure I’m ready to embrace the notion that all religions have equal worth or that all should even be tolerated.  What if one were to revive the ancient worship of Molech, which involved human sacrifices, would someone work that into the acrostic?  Or if one lived in the days of Molech worship, would they have slapped a sign on the back of their camel with a similar message?  While I respect a person’s right to make their own life choices, I do not have to, nor will I accept all life choices as equal in value.

One of the biggest challenges for Christianity today is summed up in the words “exclusivity”.  The exclusivity of Christianity, or any truth for that matter, is a stumbling block for our pluralistic, post-modern, tolerant society.  If we are to make an impact in our culture as it now exists, we must prepare ourselves to effectively argue that not all ideas or philosophies share equal footing.  Just because it’s an “idea” doesn’t mean it’s a “good idea.”  In fact, there still exists such a thing as a “bad idea.”  I think we all would acknowledge that when it comes to buying a car or deciding what to wear, but when it comes to religion, suddenly there are no “bad ideas.”  Friends, some religious ideas not only are “bad” ideas, they are “dangerous.”

I have a question.  I wonder if those who promote religious tolerance would practice the tolerance they preach toward those who do not believe in the same view of religious tolerance?  I mean, will those who promote tolerance be intolerant to those who promote intolerance?  And one final observation…If one cannot even espouse his position without logical contradiction, there must be something wrong with that position.

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