Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Can't We All Just Get Along?

Been seeing this button pop up on various blogs of late. And I think I understand the message (I'm not really that dense, but I am a bit skeptical) - "Let's just all get along." Am I right? And that, of course, is laudable.

Why not coexist? The challenge is that one or more of the religions represented in this symbol of unity/diversity has at the core of it's doctrine the eradication of the infidel. And it ain't Christianity. Yes, Christians are called to seek the conversion of the infidel, but not eliminate them.

And the fact that there are other incompatible doctrines among this group quickly dispenses with the idea that all religions are simply different paths going up the same mountain. The reality is that every religion is going up a completely different mountain.

Not that this theological truth should prevent us from coexisting. We must coexist. We should just be wary of the enemy snipers who, under the pretext of getting along, will kill the unsuspecting.

UPDATE - Great comment from VK in the comment section:
I generally agree with what Sar said, but I think what the original post indicated, and what is easy to lose sight of, is that acknowledging that other faiths should coexist is not the same as acknowledging that all faiths are equal in value or worth.

Coexistence is a great idea, though decidedly difficult in places like the Sudan. But my reluctance to find one of those banners for my own website is that most people I know who have them would like to treat the differences in the various faiths as irrelevant. And that's not actually the teaching of any one of the religions represented by any of the letters.


Linking to OTB's Friday Traffic Jam

3 comments:

Sar said...

That banner looks familiar. ;)

I absolutely subscribe to the idea that we all must coexist. When you boil it down to it's very core at the end of the day, we're all just human beings with the right to our own beliefs. Period.

Yes, there is cross over in beliefs and there are stark contrasts as well, but a fundamental similarity is the shared belief that we should treat others as we would have them treat us. And to me there is no better way to treat another than with respect. There is much I don't agree with in those whose views I'm fundamentally opposed to, but I respect their right to practice their faith. Sadly, I can only hope rather than expect the same in return as we are living in a very divided world. Perhaps one day. Perhaps these banners will serve as a reminder and help pave the way.

VK said...

I generally agree with what sar said, but I think what the original post indicated, at what is easy lose sight of, is that acknowledging that other faiths should Coexist is not the same as acknowledging that all faiths are equal in value or worth.

Coexistence is a great idea, though decidedly difficult in places like the Sudan. But my reluctance to find one of those banners for my own website is that most people I know who have them would like to treat the differences in the various faiths as irrelevant. And that's not actually the teaching of anyone of the religious represent by a letter.

Lyn said...

Thanks Sar for commenting (and VK for your thoughts - I reposted them in the update as you can see). And I appreciate your email, Sar, regarding the tenor and style of my blog and comments.

My response is similar to VK's. While I agree that we all have "the right to our own beliefs" we don't have the right to kill others for disagreeing with our beliefs. One of the religions in that symbol advocates just that - at least those who adhere strictly to their interpretation of their prophet.

And yet, I agree we must hold out hope that one day our divisions will not be grounds for extermination. Theologically, however, I'm inclined to side with Barbara (in the haloscan comment) that this side of heaven, it likely will not happen.

Great discussion. Thanks for participating. lgp