Religion is What Humans Call the Important Ideas in Life

Topics: Religion, Religious pluralism, Unitarian Universalism Pages: 4 (1220 words) Published: November 29, 2010
I believe that religion is what humans call the "important ideas" in life. That is, I think religion is the term that we all use to explain how we fit into life. Since we fit into the world in different ways, we have different things to say about how our lives have meaning. What I have to say about where I fit into the world is different from what a Christian may have to say about where they fit into the world, and we'll both differ with an atheist in how we fit into the world. We all say different things and use different words, but we're all trying to answer the same question.

This does not make me any more tolerant than a fundamentalist Christian who believes that religion is about salvation through Christ. Beliefs about the correctness or validity of other religions doesn't make any of us more inclusive, or tolerant, or sophisticated than other religions that disagree with us. While no one ever makes such a bald statement, it is implicitly said by a number of Pagans -- all who explain that since they believe all religions are valid, others should accept their religion, too.

Tolerance isn't about belief; it's about action. Tolerance isn't about accepting the validity of a religion; it's about politeness when interacting with other religions. Being tolerant of another's religion does not imply that a person believes it is valid, nor does believing a religion is valid necessarily imply tolerance of the religion. Tolerance is about following the social norms of polite society when interacting with other religions, and about giving all religions, within reason, freedom to practice without legal hindrance.

It's not important that people outside of our religions think that our religions are valid. What's important is that they, at a minimum, don't interfere with our ways of honoring our Gods and living correctly. While I happen to believe that all seekers, religious or not, are finding their Truth and learning about how they relate to the world, it doesn't...
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