A World of Tolerance President John F. Kennedy once said, “Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.” A world that practiced religious tolerance would be a place in which people would be allowed the freedom to express their beliefs without the threat of violence or backlash from another group of people. The world would be a place in which every person, regardless of their backgrounds or beliefs would be able to identify with each other, strengthening the bond that all humans share with one another. It is often forgotten that as humans, we are all essentially the same. We are all composed of the same matter, we breathe the same air, we have brains and the capacity to think, and we have hearts and the ability to love. Most importantly, whether someone is a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Deist, or Atheist, we all believe in something. We all have a set of beliefs that dictate how we live our lives; a moral code. The specific details of our beliefs may vary, but our fundamental roots are the same. In order for religious tolerance to exist in today’s world, we have to remember that we humans are not designed to live as individuals. We have common threads that link us all together and we are meant to live in community with one another. If we practiced religious tolerance today, much of the conflict in society would be resolved. Many of the societal and cultural issues of the modern age are a direct cause of the lack of respect and understanding humans have for one another. If we took the time to learn about each other we would be able to relate to one another on a higher level. By learning about others and gaining an understanding of their beliefs and ideals, we do not have to sacrifice anything of ourselves, we are not betraying our own beliefs; rather, we are able to grow in ourselves and our beliefs because we are able to see beyond our limited view of the world and broaden our
perspectives. If we “[nurtured] tolerance among people of all or no faiths”, the mission of the Boniuk Institute, we would be able to coexist with one another in a world where every group of people would feel comfortable in their own skin, and would be comfortable expressing and practicing their beliefs. A world of religious tolerance will be a place where man will not feel pressured by any group of people to conform to a standard of beliefs. This world will be a place in which “wars of religion” will not exist; where we are accepting of all people and never threaten the livelihoods of others simply because we are ignorant or insecure. Human beings cannot exist in solitude; the only method of human survival is through coexistence. Coexistence can only be achieved if we put aside prejudices and hatred and simply remember that it is not our job to assume what is right and what is wrong concerning faith and religion. Our only duty is to maintain a society where all people respect, understand, and most importantly love, one another.