Why Respect The Religious Beliefs Of Others?
We have seen that man is too ready to die for his religious beliefs. We have seen entire wars waged, masses slaughtered in the name of religious belief.
Man has suffered at his own intolerance to his fellow man, and nothing has been worse than intolerance of religion. Some of the greatest wars in history have been fought over religious intolerance. Religious intolerance has always brought unhappiness.
L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, wrote that Tolerance is a good cornerstone on which to build human relationships.
By asking someone to be tolerant we are not suggesting that one cannot promote ones own beliefs. He should.
Man has always engaged in debate about the nature of himself, his relationship with God. Even those who say there is no God, are but joining in the same debate, as to what is out there beyond, and where we come from.
People are generally happier with some kind of faith and for thousands of years man has enjoyed his religious beliefs. One should respect them. If people in the past thousands of years have not been able to come to any conclusion about the infinite, despite them being the brightest minds that ever existed, then it is well for the rest of us today to respect the religious beliefs of others.
Man does not know enough about man to be able to know exactly what happens when he stands on another mans religion. Generally man wants to be right, as being right is what his ultimate survival is all about. But making someone else wrong, for what they believe, is for some a condemnation worse than death. So for all, the best way to handle another mans religion is to be tolerant of it. And remember that Faith and belief do not necessarily surrender to logic: they cannot even be declared to be illogical. They can be things apart.
Tolerance may be reading other religious texts, finding what is right about the text. After all, if thousands or millions follow it, and use it, it will have a lot that is right about it. Tolerance may also simply be listening without objection. Religions are also related. They are all an attempt to explain the same thing what is life? We can at least respect a man who has the awareness to have a faith, as he is aware beyond the physical universe. And for those who have no faith and argue that faith is wrong, at least they care enough to argue, and one can have some tolerance of that too.
In Japan, where I lived for a decade, there is a saying, There are many roads to the top of the mountain, but the view of the moon is the same at the peak
Tolerance works. Try it.
Nick Broadhurst is the Executive Director of the Church of Scientology of Canberra. He has been in Scientology for 20 years and has read over 20,000 pages, and listened to over 400 taped lectures on the subject. Respect Others’ Beliefs , Church of Scientology of Canberra