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Religious Tolerance, Essay Example

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Essay

Religious tolerance is a complicated concept. It involves recognizing that people the right to choose a religion, change their religion, have religious believes, and to practice their religion (unless it causes harm to others or is unreasonable in some other way). Tolerance doesn’t mean believing in equality of religions, it only refers to the concept of acceptance. Of course, the term is not set in stone and some people may take it to mean more than is stated here, but for the sake of clarity this is the definition we will stick with.

The current state of religious tolerance is as complicated as its definition. The tension created by 9/11 and the subsequent changes in society led to harsh criticism of religion. Most of the blame has been placed on fundamental extremism, but the effect is felt throughout all levels of religious observation. In the Western world, Islam is the most scrutinized religion due to the perversion of the Koran’s message by would-be terrorists. But before the world put Muslims under a magnifying glass, the Catholic church of Christianity became embroiled in a pedophilia controversy that still exists today.

Christianity, in any of its forms, does not condone child abuse and/or sexual abuse. It is well known that sex is a “taboo” topic in Catholicism, which may be why this issue was not addressed earlier. While the church didn’t condone the actions, they certainly created an environment that facilitated the abuse. Denying priests of sex and then placing them in a position of power are actions that likely have an influence on the situation. However, as far as I am aware, there are no passages in the scripture of Catholicism that condone these actions in any way, shape, or form.

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