Tolerance based on religious standpoints is taking two forms in the world today.
First, there is one religion tolerating another. This is religious tolerance.
Second, there is the non-religious fellas including Atheists and freethinkers tolerating religion and religious brothers. Let us call that irreligious tolerance.
Tolerance and respect are two different issues. Tolerance is where you allow something to be even if you do not agree with it. When it comes to ‘Respect‘, agreement with it and admiration of it creep in.
Where do you live? What is your country of residence?
Tolerance, whether religious or irreligious. works in a back-and-forth exchange of tolerance. I tolerate yours, and you tolerate mine. Somehow, we need to focus on how we can set aside our religious and irreligious differences and work on what makes the world a better place for all. That is how tolerance works.
- In some countries of the world, their constitution declares them to be religious countries.
- Most of these nations are thereby very hostile and intolerant to other religions.
- Worse, if you are an atheist in these countries you are likely to meet with your end very quickly.
- If you do not get a morning date with the hangman’s noose in these countries, you might find yourself with reduced rights and privileges.
Let the following four (4) questions help you evaluate and readjust your religious and irreligious tolerance compass.
- Have you ever encountered religious or irreligious intolerance in your country of residence?
- If you are religious, are you tolerant to other religions that you do not ascribe to?
- For the Atheists, are you tolerant to religion?
- Notwithstanding your religiousness or non-religiousness, how would you feel if religious or irreligious intolerance was directed at you?
In places such as India, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Egypt etc you might find yourself on the wrong side of the law if you cross some lines drawn on religious grounds. Travellers and other visitors to these places should conduct thorough research if they do not want to find themselves behind bars.
Indonesia: One Sample Country
One country that stood out as we were doing our research for this article is Indonesia. The Southern Asia country has the largest Muslim population but has a secular constitution.
Indonesia has a state ideology called Pancasila. It is an ideology that promotes diversity, nationalism and democracy. However, Indonesians often have protests against symbols of minority religions or those that are deemed unIslamic. The Indonesian president is often heard speaking for the upholding of Pancasila and for respect of the Indonesian constitution.
Let us hope that all religious people will soon learn to coexist with people of different religions other than their own.
Atheism and Freethinking
As ideals of Atheism and Freethought spread through the world, a new challenge is rising. How do religious people live with fellow humans who apparently believe in ‘nothing’? As one Atheist famously put it, “Man does not need religion to keep him in check. If you need religion to ensure you behave in a humane way and do the right thing, you are not worthy of being on this planet.”
We will leave it at that, and urge you to tolerate religious and irreligious standpoints that may differ from your own. We will also remind you that at Nestwebia we are non-discriminatory and do not favor any one religion over another. All are equal in Nestwebia.