A false understanding of toleration is connected with the loss, or perhaps the renunciation, of the question of truth, which is indeed being dismissed by many people today as a meaningless question. In this way the intellectual weakness of present-day culture is becoming apparent. If the question of truth is no longer being considered, then what religion is, is no longer distinguishable from what it is not; faith is no longer differentiated from superstition, experience from illusion. Unless claims of truth are considered, respect for other religions becomes contradictory and meaningless, because there is no criterion by which to distinguish what is of positive value in any religion and what is negative or is the product of superstition and deception.
Pilgrim Fellowship of Faith, 213
Reflection – “It’s all the same,” the prostitute Aldonza sings in the musical Man from
La Mancha. It’s all the same, sings, our modern secular governments, changing the words a bit: “One view of God’s just like the other, I don’t know why the Pope’s to blame. I’ll worship Zeus or Odin’s brother—it’s all the same. So do not talk to me of truth…”
To claim that one’s religion is true is to be a hateful ideologue. To claim that all religions are false (which is what is really meant when we say that all religions are equally true) is tolerant and kind.
‘The intellectual weakness of present-day culture is becoming apparent.’ Hah! Ratzinger is nothing if not the master of gentle understatement. And the other great observation: ‘respect for other religions becomes contradictory and meaningless.’ – this whole nonsense that all religions are the same or of equal value precisely disrespects religion’s actual claims. Muslims do not believe that Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism are of equal value to Islam.
Christians, myself emphatically included, do not believe Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and astrology are of equal value to Christianity. And—gasps of horror all around—Catholics (myself emphatically included) do not consider the various shades of Protestant and Orthodox Christianity equally valuable to Catholicism. And vice versa any old way you choose to swap around the names.
The point of religious belief is just that—we believe our religion is true. And hence, that other religions are false, insofar as they contradict our religion. There is nothing hateful or violent about this—it’s simple logic! I love Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Hindus (although I don’t know any of the latter) very dearly… but I consider them wrong, insofar as their beliefs differ from mine. And they may consider me wrong too. I won’t be offended.
It is from this healthy and clear-headed basis that we can have sensible conversations and even genuine friendships. The smarmy cult of feel good multi-cult is based on nothing true at all—no true respect for religious believers and their beliefs, no true engagement with the actual contents of the world religions. Just a silly and sentimental assertion that if we all just hold hands and sing campfire songs we are ‘all the same.’ Balderdash!
We are all the same only when and if we all earnestly and sincerely seek to know and live the truth about life, about God or gods, about who and what we are for, who and what the universe is for.
The sinister undercurrent of multicultural feel good relativism is, of course, to silence, marginalize, and drive underground actual religious voices and positions, all in the name of respect for religion. Statist governments of all descriptions always identify religion, along with the family, as their primary enemy, their major competition, that which needs to be put in its place, and which place needs to be as small as they can swing it politically.
Statist governments of the right or of the left always act this way, and that’s where we’re heading now, folks. They’ll prove to us before the night’s out they’re all the same.