Monday, March 25, 2013

Inviting criticism of our own religious beliefs will strengthen our faith!

And perhaps focus on our faith better, and understand if we have a problem with others perception of our beliefs. This was noted in an article on the attached link:
I believe this approach is good. We must ask others to criticize our religion. We will then be able to look at another’s perspective of our belief, perhaps try and get a better understanding of our own beliefs and then be able to counter the criticism with a constructive rationale, and where we believe we are wrong, try to make the necessary changes to accommodate the feelings of others where some of our practices may anger others or lead to unnecessary friction. It is all part of the art of compromise, with only fundamentalists who discredit this as sacrilegious
Most of religious intolerance is the fear of the unknown, and false assumptions being made from that fear, as is quite apparent from the current debate on intolerance in Sri Lanka today.
I have advocated a study of comparative religions, when a student reaches an age of about 14, in schools, with a text book to which all religions are requested to submit their particular belief for inclusion. In this way people will understand what and why about belief and can accept or disagree with particular aspects as they wish.
We must engage new approaches of education, and make people understand that whatever our beliefs are that there are many who take a very different approach and we must first understand what it is that they believe and secondly be able to compromise our customs and practices so as not to offend another.
I also personally believe a certain amount of deference to the majority religion of a country must be given, so that there is no antagonism by the majority community to your own belief. It is also called getting along, without being too obvious.
Some religious practices may then have to be kept private or not in full view of others that may cause offence. In Sri Lanka it seems that everything another does appears to be directly offensive to the majority religion, and instead of a negotirated compromise, the likes of the BBS engage in raw violence, hurting feelings and then making a permanent dent in inter religious harmony.
I must state at this stage that I am completely against the BBS statement that this is NOT a multi-religious and multi-ethnic country. If they wish to fight about that then I am willing to take up arms against such a premise, so that one of two consequences result. Acceptance of my stance, or the annihilation of all minorities. 

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