A Christmas Of Tolerance



Have you ever asked yourself, "Which religion is right?"

Over the past several weeks, I've read the Payson Roundup's "Letters to the Editor" page with some amusement regarding the attitudes and judgment some Payson people have put on public display regarding their intolerance for belief systems different than their own.

It seems that some people have allowed themselves to become bent out of shape because the post office has issued a stamp honoring the Muslim religion at Christmastime.

While Christmas is a special time where we honor the life and example of Jesus, remember that he is called "The Prince of Peace." He accepted everyone, regardless of their belief or lack thereof. The only folks he had a problem with were the self-righteous clique who thought that their belief system was the only true way.

If those who describe themselves as Christian, Muslim, Jew -- and all other flavors of religion -- would step back from their dogma for a moment, you'd see that we all have something in common.

We all worship the creator of the universe. The same creative source of all. There's not more than one, although some call that source God, or Allah, Jehovah, The Great Spirit and a myriad number of other names.

Each belief system states that they are the true religion. After all, they're each worshiping the source of creation.

Could it be that all are right?

Who among us has the divine authority to judge which religion is correct? For you, me or anyone else to make that judgment is to usurp the authority of God.

Now, more than ever before, the world needs more love and less judgment.

Rather than rail against those who don't believe as you do, practice what the Prince of Peace taught to all who would listen. "Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and body and your brother as yourself."

That's good advice for all religions. In fact that same advice, using slightly different words, is at the foundation of virtually all faiths.

What I want this Christmas is more tolerance. More respect for and acceptance of our brothers and sisters, no matter who they are, where they live or how they worship God.

More love. More peace. More understanding. More joy.

I can't think of any better gift this Christmas. How about you?

Larry Brophy, Payson

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