WHO IS RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE.ORG?*
(A group promoting that one can believe anything that one wants to believe!)
In addition to the above logo, they have another, vis: of which they say, “Our main logo is a dove with an olive branch. This symbol had its origin in story of a world-wide flood sent by the Babylonian God Ea. The hero, Ut-Napishtim, sent out a dove from his ark to determine if there was any dry land in the vicinity. This symbol has since evolved into a universal symbol of peace, tolerance, and understanding.” (Emphasis added)
Their Statement of Belief speaks for itself in the Preamble, as does their beliefs, which states, “We are a multi-faith group. As of late-2012, we consist of one Atheist, Agnostic, Christian, Wiccan and Zen Buddhist. Thus, the OCRT* staff lack agreement on almost all theological matters, such as belief in a supreme being, the nature of God, interpretation of the Bible and other holy texts, whether life after death exists, what form the afterlife may take, etc.” Then under the heading:
“We believe in:
• Personal worth: The inherent worth of every person. People are worthy of respect, support, and caring simply because they are human. Unfortunately, our group has not reached a consensus on when human life, in the form of an ovum and spermatozoon, becomes a human person with civil rights including the right to live. On this matter, our group’s lack of agreement on when personhood begins mirrors that of society at large.
• Lack of discrimination: Working towards a culture that is relatively free of discrimination on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, physical disability, language, age, body shape, etc.
• Dignity: The dignity of the human person. We oppose the use of torture and cruel or unusual punishment including the death penalty.
• Democracy: The importance of democratic processes within religious, political, and other structures in which the will of the people is implemented, subject to the limits imposed by the constitution.
• Religion-state matters: The separation of religion and the state. (This is generally referred to as “separation of church and state.” But we prefer the more inclusive term). The government should avoid promoting one faith group within a religion over another, or promote one religion over another, promote religion over secular beliefs, or promote secular beliefs over religion. 1
• Personal freedom: The freedoms of religious beliefs, speech, association, and expression at the individual, congregational and denominational level. 1
• Freedom of speech: The freedom to compare the beliefs of faith groups with each other, and with the findings of science. It also includes the freedom to criticize faith and other groups when they harm others.
• Relative truth: The principle that many moral, ethical, and religious beliefs vary greatly from one culture, religion, and time to another, and are thus relative. We do acknowledge that they are often considered absolute by various religions and secular belief systems. 2
• Impact of religion: The generally positive influence that most religions have had on their followers and on society. 3
• A problem with the use of prayer: It is our belief that prayer is an unreliable method to assess the will of God. We were initially divided on this matter, but a pilot study appears to indicate that prayer for this purpose is unreliable.
• Evil in religion: In the importance of individual believers detecting evil influences and policies that currently exist within their chosen faith group, and strongly advocating for their correction. If significant improvement or elimination of sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, etc. is impossible, we feel that they should consider withholding financial support and/or leaving the group. 4
● Education: The principle that people are not truly educated unless they have studied the world’s major religions and ethical systems. They need to learn of both the good and evil impacts that each has had on society throughout history. They need to be taught skills at analysis and “baloney detection.”
Then follows the Footnotes for the foregoing, which also speaks for themselves:
Footnotes, mainly about exceptions:
1. However we have not been able to reach a consensus about the age at which an individual should fully enjoy these freedoms. We also recognize that some of these freedoms should have limits. For example, we do not feel that parents should be allowed to let their children die if medical treatment will give a sick child a chance to live. We do not feel that individuals should be free to advocate genocide or falsely yell “fire” in a crowded theatre.
2. We have been frequently criticized for our lack of belief in absolute morality.
3. One group of exceptions are a handful of destructive cults which have endangered the lives of their members.
4. This includes those faith groups that actively promote discrimination and oppression on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and similar grounds. Within Judeo- Christianity, this includes many conservative faith groups, like Roman Catholicism, Orthodox Judaism, fundamentalist and many evangelical Christian denominations, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints (LDS’ the main Mormon church), etc., who refuse ordination to all women, and actively oppress lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons and transsexuals (LGBTs). We note that in six predominately Muslim countries, to be a sexually active lesbian, gay or bisexual is a capital offense. In many other predominately Muslim countries, women are very heavily discriminated against. Few if any religions appear to be free of all bias.
5.Students need to obtain a balanced understanding of the positive and negative contributions of religion, including the religious sources that inspired Gandhi, Albert Schweitzer, and Martin Luther King, Jr. to commit their life to serving a hurting humanity. They need to learn of the impressive contributions that religions have made to the pursuit of philosophical and scientific truth, the alleviation of human suffering, the improvement of political systems, the provision of educational opportunities — the list is almost endless. However, students also need to learn the dark sides of religion: how religious beliefs have contributed to hatred, intolerance, unjustified discrimination, and suffering as well as:
Mass murders and genocides in such places as Nazi Germany, Bosnia, East Timor, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, the Middle East, Sudan and countless other countries. Human slavery, the oppression of women, oppression of sexual minorities, female genital mutilation, etc. These evils are largely cultural in origin, but tend to be preserved and promoted by many religions around the world.
Historical opposition to medical advances.”
*Copyright © 1997 to 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance (OCRT) and extracted from their website: http://religioustolerance.org/ 3 Apr 2015
There is no doubt that the principals of OCRT are well-meaning in their intent and that they are probably fine upstanding citizens in the society in which they live. We have no axe to grind with them as they are free moral agents to believe whatever they want. However, reason that they came to our attention was through our website Search Engine Optimization monitoring process trying to divert traffic from our website! So, I decided to find out who they were and what their modus operandi was? After visiting their site, one would have to agree that they are against religion in all its forms, just as we are at Mandate Ministries! We believe that religion is a curse on mankind and has been at the root of many conflicts in ages past, and currently, in which it has caused massive loss of life, injury, destruction of property and devastation!
As Born-again Christians we believe that we are not to be classified as ‘nominal christians’, or at all religious in the observance of our faith. But rather, we are following, in a personal relationship, the one who is El-Shaddai – God Almighty! His Word the Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) We endeavour to worship Him in spirit and in truth, just as He desires as Jesus stated in John 4:24, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Jesus, was also the one who said, in John 14:6-7, “… “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
Therefore, we at Mandate Ministries do not recommend, or commend, to you the writings to be found on the OCRT’s website! by Fred Grigg