Religious tolerance

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

One’s religion is a personal decision and should be respected as long as it doesn’t advocate harm and ill treatment to those differing in belief. Religion should bring us closer to our higher power and aid us in our earthly sojourn to be the best individuals possible. Religion should promote love and a propensity to love one another, especially in helping those less fortunate.

Religion should act as a guide or roadmap to help navigate us through this journey called life, preparing us for the hereafter. It should be the foundation of making sense of this mundane world helping to unite us in a bond of humanity. Religion should be spiritually inspired and not open to the manipulation of man for greed, power and control.

People’s religious denomination or how they choose to manifest their faith or beliefs is as diverse as the types of individuals inhabiting this planet. It is quite apparent that one size doesn’t fit all and everyone should show deference for the belief of others who practice a different religion. We must understand that those practicing different religions are just as devoted to their belief as we are to ours.

Many factors determine one’s affinity to a particular religion. Some of the main factors determining one’s religion are your location on the planet, your parents’ or family’s religion, and exposure to religious practices. Most people are devoted and serious about their religion and highly offended to others questioning their choice or practice. But no one can be more offensive than those who literally try to force their religion on others and demonize those who aren’t affiliated with their particular choice. Such people are considered fanatics, radicals or extremists, literally advocating harm and condemnation for those not conforming to their beliefs. Thus religion has been used as a tool for promoting wars; controlling masses of people; personal gain by self-serving people; and acquisition for power. You have known terrorist groups trying to rationalize heinous acts against mankind in the name of their religion. Men often manipulate the real meaning of religion, but its spiritual message cannot be compromised. There is an ultimate price to be paid for those involved in its deception.

If humanitarian love and the pursuit of being a good productive individual is not part of one’s religion, it is not spiritual. Unscrupulous and self-driven practitioners are misusing the religion. However those with true spiritual discernment concerning their faith have a responsibility to fight those practicing and spreading malicious harmful propaganda in the name of their religion—especially anyone advocating killing those of different religions. Common sense dictates this is wrong and unholy. Even people of the same faith with
different denominations can be found downing and criticizing each other, claiming their denomination is the only one that counts and will lead to true salvation. This is true in Christianity where you have a plethora of different denominations practicing different styles or rituals but all adhering to a belief in Jesus Christ as our Savior.

It should be apparent that people have different ways of personally manifesting their religious observance comfortable to them. It could be comparable to finding a home you feel comfortable in living in and growing.
My personal analysis is regardless of your religion (Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, etc.), we are all God’s children and we should live in a matter pleasing to him, who loves us all. If this were the accepted belief of all, we would live in a world inundated with peace, love, and harmony.

Being a practicing Christian, I know without reservations that this religion is right for me. The test of time and life only confirms my decision. The testimonies reassuring that I have chosen the right religion for me is too numerous to count. Therefore, I respect others choice of religion, according to what is right for them. Loving and respecting your fellow man should be a determining factor in any credible religion.