All religions are not similar


Dear Editor,
Last week an article titled “All religions similar, equal” was published. I am tired of hearing these arguments from the “coexist” flock about how all religions are basically the same.

The most ignorant statement circulating is that “Judaism, Christianity and Islam follow the same God.”

This universalist perspective ignores all maxims of religions except the most based shared tenets and has been too often posed as an urbane enlightened posture when really it is as patronizing as it is insulting.

The right to worship in whatever manner one sees fit is a fundamental cornerstone in the foundation of our nation, but it has been abused to prevent any interaction of religions that avail a conflict of convictions.

The freedom of religion espoused in our Constitution is not a mandate to accept all religions as equal but to prevent the discrimination of any person because of his or her faith.

I admire the complexity of Hinduism, the beauty of Buddhism, the justice of Confucianism, the piety of Islam, the conscience of Judaism and the discipleship of Christianity. And it is in interaction with these my presuppositions of my own faith are questioned, tried, strengthened or weakened.

I respect these faiths enough not to ignore their creeds contrary to my own, and I respect my own enough not to sacrifice it for the sake of coexistence or the misapplied name of tolerance.

When we strip apart religions of all that makes them unique in order to find common ground, we are disrespecting their followers and misrepresenting their convictions.

In fact, the only thing we are not doing is tolerating them.

Ben O’Neil
Post-bac, Biology