Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tolerance Awareness Tuesday

"We have gone a long way toward civilization and religious tolerance, and we have a good example in this country. Here the many Protestant denominations, the Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church do not seek to destroy one another in physical violence just because they do not interpret every verse of the Bible in exactly the same way. Here we now have the freedom of all religions, and I hope that never again will we have a repetition of religious bigotry, as we have had in certain periods of our own history. There is no room for that kind of foolishness here." Harry S Truman, Mr. Citizen, 1960.

It occurs to me that when our Founding Fathers discussed religious tolerance, they were talking about different Christian beliefs. This is not surprising, as different Christian sects had a history of persecuting each other.

Masons today accept good men who believe in a Creator, though we call him by many different names. God, Yahweh, Jesus, Allah, Great Spirit – we accept into our fraternity good men of any faith. With our world torn in so many different ways, we as a fraternity and as a society, cannot afford to reject the works of good men simply because they have a different faith than we.

There is no room for that kind of foolishness here.