Friday, June 27, 2008

The Importance of Tolerance

My husband and I practice different religions. Whenever the topic of religion crops up, people are always surprised that I have not converted to his religion. Just because I’m married to the man does not mean I have to be someone else, does it?

Fortunately, tolerance is a key word in our relationship and my husband must be credited for not forcing his beliefs on me. Respect and inter-faith tolerance is vital for a marriage like ours.

Religion for me defines the very personal relationship between God and myself. It’s so very hard for me to understand why anyone else should have any say in that relationship.

I have, unfortunately, come across many instances when overzealousness rears its ugly head whenever religion is concerned. Obviously, to these people, they are just trying to save some poor lost soul. But what if this soul does not need saving?

Every religion preaches tolerance, but how often do we really live it? If we do, why then do some people tell others that they are praying to nothing more than an idol? Or that they pray for us to come to our senses and accept their God one day. Or that our only ticket to heaven is to embrace their religion. Would they have felt insulted if we said the same of their God and religion?

In a time when religion should be the glue that binds mankind together, we’re all fighting and killing each other to stake our claim that our God is the supreme one. Does it matter that much that we’re willing to kill and maim for it?

I seriously believe that any embrace of a religion should come from the heart. It should never be coerced or forced for what good is it to embrace a religion but to not truly believe in it, live it and breathe it?


Daryl Teo said...

Don't see a lot of that anymore today. further the political name calling isn't helping much as patience wears thin. sigh.

Sharon said...

Unfortunately, you're right. Religion and politics should always be kept apart.