Facets of Faith for Sept. 3, 2011

When one starts to consider interfaith groups, the idea of tolerance comes up. How can people work together in faith when they don’t believe the same things?

The Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance has a large site about religion: http://www.religioustolerance.org/. It’s an excellent resource for dealing with faith issues from many perspectives.

The group defines religious tolerance:

“Some folks, particularly religious conservatives, define 'religious tolerance’ as the belief that all religions are equally true, valid, and equally beneficial to the culture. We define the term differently: To be tolerant is to follow the Ethic of Reciprocity, a.k.a. the Golden Rule. That involves working toward a culture in which every person should be able to:

• “Follow their own religious beliefs, as long as they do not harm others.

• “Enjoy freedom of religious belief, speech and assembly, without discrimination or oppression.

• “Change their religion if they wish.

• “Make non-harassing, non-manipulative and non-coercive attempts to convert others.”

Religioustolerance.org has thousands of articles on religions, compilations of news stories about attacks on religious freedoms and essays on issues such as the Ten Commandments, abortion and sex, that can push religious buttons. The writers try to offer information from all sides.

Other resources

WHEN IS IT?: Visit http://www.interfaithcalendar.org/ to find holidays of most religions around the world. It has calendars through 2021.

These are available in different formats. Also helpful is a page of definitions with concise descriptions of the holidays.

A COMMON THREAD: Visit http://www.scarboromissions.ca/ and click on the Golden Rule link.

This interfaith group has taken the Golden Rule and created a curriculum and meditation guides.

The Golden Rule is a concept found in most religions. This group has taken texts of 13 religions and translated them into several languages as the basis of their lesson plans.

A poster and DVD are available as well as Internet resources.

BECOMING ACTIVE: Visit http://www.sojo.net/ for ideas on how to become more active in the world based on your religious beliefs.

The site’s slogan is “faith, politics, culture.”

Sojourners is a group that takes political action on social justice issues: many of the same issues that interfaith groups target.

It offers a magazine, resources for individuals and groups, including churches, as well as plenty of information.

Send ideas to Leila Pitchford-English, The Advocate, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-0588; or email lenglish@theadvocate.com.