Interfaith Understanding June 13, 2009

Interfaith Understanding

A quotation from Jesus and Mo, discussing the Tony Blair Faith Foundation:

Promoting peace by increasing inter-faith understanding makes about as much sense as promoting sobriety by increasing alcohol consumption.


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  • Having just finished reading Bob Minor’s When Religion is an Addiction, this makes a whole lot of sense!

  • sir goofsalot

    Shouldn’t the strategy be to promote peace through interfaith ignoring and discounting? Seems the more the followers of one particular faith knows about the other, the more animosity is generated. Tell them the other guys are ineffective and not up to anything. Just another falsehood.

  • Eliza

    Having just watched the long-awaited next episode of Mr. Deity (season 3, number 1), I thought “Mo” here meant “Moses”.

  • I agree that we should promote peace.

    However, it is not the things between faiths which form a solid basis for peace, but the things which lie beyond and transcend them. By focusing on what these faiths share, various other out-groups are still being excluded (atheists, agnostics, non-Abrahamic faiths) and peace will not be achieved if the focus is still on our differences; understanding cannot be produced, cannot be achieved by drawing a line in the sand – rather, it can only be produced by erasing the lines which divide us all.

    Only when we invoke principles which surmount the inflexible dogmas of unquestioned tradition can the lines of separation truly be removed.

  • James Koran

    well said! Teleprompter

  • While understanding does not always create peace, and may in some cases actually incite conflict, alcohol consumption never creates sobriety. So I would say that it is a non sequiter.

  • Make sure I get an invitation if anyone is ever wise enough to hold an interworldview conference.

  • How about we get rid of religion(s) and focus on the things that actually work, such as authentic spirituality.

  • I think the key word here is interfaith. As in one supposes there is something of value to learn from another religion. If one holds that up to be the case, the likelihood for greater good will across divisions could be the result. And I’m not sure why interfaith must mean excluding atheists and non Abrahamic religions. I worked at an inter religious center which included pagans, christians, buddhists, unitarians, etc. so it does happen. And should.

  • Erp

    A problem seems to be that the inter-faith group excludes ‘secularists’ (I think this is their preferred word, the web site for the foundation doesn’t seem to use atheists, atheism).

  • iMissDouglas

    I want meta-faith understanding.

  • David: What exactly do you mean by ‘authentic spirituality’?

  • keddaw

    The more people of faith A learn about faith B the more reasons they have to hate faith B’s believers.

  • Ultimately the goal is to promote peace by eliminating superstition entirely – but my strong sense is that contact between people of different religions moves them both one notch away from fundamentalism and one notch toward atheism. Ask yourself: have you ever heard of a person becoming MORE religious as a result of learning about other faiths they haven’t been exposed to before? No, because they start seeing the common screwinesses. I have no good data to support this and would love to see some, but it explains why religious leaders are typically so opposed to their adherents talking to people outside the faith. Consequently I’m *all for* expanding dialogue between religions.

  • Ha ha! I love it! Someone on that site wrote this:

    the only way to respect all religions equally is to respect none of them at all.


  • Okay here is one for the atheists. Check this website out. Now if you all are going to be quiet about this one I am going to truly wonder what you motivations are. Christians are not allowed to do this so why should muslims?

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