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The Truth?

Copyright © 2002 by David E. Ross

While stuck in traffic one morning, I saw a license plate frame —

graphic 'Truth Not Tolerance'

From other insignia on the car, I could tell this was a religious slogan. As intended, it made me think. However, my thoughts were not likely those that the driver of that other car wanted.

I have heard this and similar slogans before. Often, they are sponsored by certain churches that claim to Own the Truth about God. Therefore, their dogma rejects any appeal to be tolerant of other faiths.

What rude arrogance! What an insult to the legitimacy of other religions! This slogan rejects the love that God commands us to show our neighbors (Leviticus 19:18), regardless of their religions. It is not a recipe for peace and harmony in a society of diverse cultures and beliefs.

What is the truth? The truth is that no one religion owns a monopoly on understanding God. No one religion holds the secrets of moral and ethical behavior. No one religion is The True Path to Salvation.

What is the truth? The truth is that any religion that proclaims that it alone has the Truth and does not need to practice tolerance is itself godless. God might forgive its adherents for rejecting his commandment, but they will not thrive.

Of course, your own religion might teach differently. It might even be one of those that teaches the slogan that started this commentary. If that is the way you believe, that is your choice. I will leave you alone and not try to convert you to a contrary belief. However, at the minimum, I expect you will at least respect my right to follow my beliefs. Such respect is the beginning of tolerance.

5 July 2002

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