Do you? I know it’s popular, but really? All beliefs? “I respect all beliefs” is a common refrain, especially today. We like to think we’re open and accepting. But we’re not – and here’s the thing – we’re not supposed to be. In fact, that kind of respect and acceptance would be absurd.
Is it okay to sacrifice children? Is it okay for a man to beat his wife? How about polygamy? These are beliefs that many hold. Are we to respect these beliefs? Some come from long-standing or ancient religious traditions. Are we to uphold these , admire them, give them equal weight among other beliefs?
Recently, a friend was speaking to a woman who “respected all beliefs.” So he started talking about his belief in Jesus. He went on to respectfully note how Jesus is the Center of all – the Way, the Truth, and the Life – and that the only way to salvation is through him. The woman quickly turned to hostility and anger.
Why? She said she respected all beliefs. What happened?
What happened was his belief challenged her. She didn’t like that. She liked her own truth – one that she could control and adjust accordingly. My friend spoke of God’s Eternal Truth. She opted for her own. Nothing new here.
Our pluralistic beliefs are understandable. Many of us have friends and/or work with people with diverse backgrounds and beliefs. However, we’re lying to ourselves and merely adopting the cultural and irrational value of pluralism if we think that we can/should/or even do respect all beliefs. While we absolutely need to get along, acceptance of all beliefs isn’t possible or rational.
Thanks for reading,