Religious tolerance

Perspectives and Viewpoints

by Jayaram V

Religious tolerance

Tolerance is a spiritual quality. Unless you have it in full measure, it is difficult to practice tolerance. Religious leaders rarely promote tolerance because doing so would confuse the faithful and wean them away from their control and influence. Some of them speak against not only other faiths but also those who are competing with them for followers. Therefore often you find church against church and a guru against another guru.

Many people also build a wall of defense around themselves to ensure that their faith and way of life are not disturbed or unsettled by contrary beliefs and practices. If you have built a world of illusion around you based upon your religious beliefs and philosophy, you would not like to disturb that world by challenging your own faith and throw yourself into a mental turmoil. Therefore to ensure peace and stability many people use intolerance as a defensive mechanism. For them intolerance works like wall and keeps them within their comfort zones.

It is the same psychology which prevents many from embracing change. Therefore to practice tolerance either you must be a spiritual person or your faith must be strong beyond measure. Both are rare to find among people. If you resort to your religion to find comfort in your group identity or to use it for your selfish and worldly purposes, you may also use intolerance to achieve the same end and protect your interests.

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