Nothing infuriates me more than religious intolerance. It’s hypocrisy at its worst.
American religious fanaticism is becoming pandemic and worrisome because most groups and pursuing an agenda of intolerance. This is a path to trouble. Someone once told me that the two most fanatically religious places in the world were the Middle East (Islam) and the United States (Christianity) and being young and naïve at the time, I said, “that’s crazy”. Now I know better – that old man was right.
Most faiths have an “Ethic of Reciprocity” or what’s commonly known as “The Golden Rule”.
Christianity: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12, King James Version.
Islam: “None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.” Number 13 of Imam “Al-Nawawi’s Forty Hadiths.”
Judaism: “…thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”, Leviticus19:18
Brahmanism: “This is the sum of Dharma [duty]: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you”. Mahabharata, 5:1517 ”
Buddhism: “…a state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another?” Samyutta NIkaya v. 353
Confucianism: “Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence.” Mencius VII.A.4
Shinto: “The heart of the person before you is a mirror. See there your own form.“
Roman Pagan Religion: “The law imprinted on the hearts of all men is to love the members of society as themselves.”
Native American Spirituality: “All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really One.” Black Elk
Ancient Egyptian: “Do for one who may do for you, that you may cause him thus to do.” The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant, 109 – 110 Translated by R.B. Parkinson. The original dates to 1970 to 1640 BCE and may be the earliest written Golden Rule.
Zoroastrianism (The oldest one-God religion and the foundation for Judaism, Christianity and Islam): “That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself”. Dadistan-i-dinik 94:5 and “Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others.” Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29
These religions, and many others, promote the basic idea of reciprocal fair treatment. If this is so, why are we so intolerant of other’s beliefs?
Perhaps we need to do a little self-examination. Do we truly practice the teachings of our religions or are we just hypocrites?
Special thanks to thesynthesizer.com for the various golden rules.
Roger Ingalls is well traveled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.