Understanding Equality of Religions

Can't we all just get along?

Religious equality and diversity is an idea that proposes that various religions set aside their unique claims and seek common ground for the sake of tolerance, peace and dialogue. The idea of one religion having exclusive claims above others is quickly discarded. For example, Christianity, Islam and Judaism are called to set aside their peculiarities and share a common identity as “Abrahamic” faiths.

What is unspoken, or not understood, is that in order for religions to be placed in a state of equality, they must all be subservient to a higher standard. This higher standard can be peace, community or some other transcendent idea. The individual loyalties of each faith are sacrificed for a higher loyalty. The higher idea then becomes the right idea and all religions being equal are held as equally wrong.

To gauge equality of religion, a non-religious standard must be established so that equality can be measured. This standard in and of itself cannot be religious as it would then be one religion over others, the very thing that equality is meant to rectify.

The standard has to be secular, an objective disconnect from loyalty to any religion. The Christian may believe in Jesus Christ and the Muslim in Muhammad, but their loyalties are to the secular identity in an effort to maintain distance from their faith while keeping their religion.  In order to be uninfluenced by religion the secular identity must at the very least be completely agnostic on the question of religious claims and completely atheistic in practice. To compromise the standard is to risk belief in a particular religion, weakening the loyalties that are expected from secular leaders.

The believing Christian is then left with a choice. They must either place their loyalties with the claims of their faith, including the authenticity of their Bible and its record, or set aside those loyalties for higher ideas, such as multicultural tolerance. Loyalties to the faith naturally lead to conflicts with other religious claims and secular claims. Even in civil discourse, there is unresolvable disagreement and that leads to friction and conflict.

Christianity has functioned throughout the years on a single basic premise. What is revealed in scripture is exclusive truth, prompting the importance of converting others to that truth through persuasion and argument. Claims counter to Christianity are naturally challenged and keeping the faith private and personal is simply not an option.

Religious equality does not leave room for claims to exclusive ideas or to active proselytizing. For sake of harmonized diversity, each religion is free to practice, but practice needs to be kept private and ideas subservient to secular loyalty. In short, the Christian, Jew and Muslim must all function as religious atheists.

To function as a religious believer is to disturb the peace. And that is not tolerated.

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Author: M.W. Peak

Just a humble guy trying to make his way in the universe.

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