An Open Letter

AN OPEN LETTER ON RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE


Dear Reader,

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “God has no religion.”  He went further to say that, “There are as many different religions as there are individuals.”

In my own studies of the world’s religions, I have found my own personal beliefs mirrored in some part of every major religion studied, whether Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, the Tao te Ching, and many others, even the native religions of some countries.

To me, there is one God who manifests Himself in an endless variety of ways.

My understanding of God is bound to be different than yours, even if they might be similar in some respects.  We each have our own personal relationship with God.  Thus my understanding of God will be different than yours, but that is what makes God so miraculous – He is omnipresent, omniscience and omnipotent; able to Be and manifest in so many different ways!

Thus Gandhi’s remark that “God has no religion.”  God is all religions; He manifests as all beliefs, all faiths, all of our understandings of Him.

I recently read something which claimed that Buddha, Hara Krishna and all such people were all “deceptions of the Devil.”  I was sad and mad at the same time that this person could be so obtuse, bigoted and prejudiced.

He had obviously never read anything in these other religions and did not know his religious history. He did not seem to realize the common ground that exists between so many of the world’s religions.  For example, some of Jesus’ teachings mirror some of the earlier teachings of Buddhism. e.g. We reap what we sow is a variation of the Buddhist concept of Karma.

In another diatribe that was forwarded to me, the writer stated that 20 million Muslims living in Europe are stupid and ignorant and unwilling to work and support their families with pride.

Some people in any culture, regardless of their religious beliefs, might fit these characteristics, but to say that all 20 million Muslims living in Europe are like this, is extreme prejudice, at the very least.  The statement is such a generality that any rational reader would never believe it.

I am writing this because I pray and look forward to the day when all the people’s of Earth can accept God’s diversity and their own spiritual oneness, and allow each other the freedom to pray and believe as they choose without fear of attack from someone of another belief, or without feeling the apparent need to attack someone else because of their beliefs.

This will not be done by anyone ranting and chanting about religious equality and freedom for all. To achieve this, we must all individually and personally realize our spiritual oneness with everyone else.

Perhaps we need a Church, or a Gathering of All Faiths, and as we gather together, we shall seek:

An understanding and acceptance of each other’s religious beliefs.

To understand and rejoice in God’s great diversity as expressed through the peoples of Earth and their varied religious beliefs.

An understanding of our spiritual oneness as unique manifestations of God.

And we encourage and grant each other the freedom to pray and believe as each chooses.

We are individuals united as One.

We shall welcome people of all faiths, all denominations, beliefs and whatever understanding of God that one might have.

We seek to learn about each other and understand and appreciate our diversities — all expressions of God.

If any of this reflects your own beliefs and desires, please pass this on to others.  If this message is spread often enough throughout the world perhaps we can make a small difference and bring us all closer to the heaven and peace on Earth that so many of us desire.

Thank you!  God bless!

Robb F.