Sunday, December 22, 2013

A thought on what Religious Tolerance means to me

Back in 2008 a movie came to theaters called The Boy in The Striped Pajamas. It was about two young boys in WWII Germany. One was the son of a high ranking German officer and the other boy was a prisoner in a concentration camp. The movie is simple and beautiful.

My sister, mom, and I went to see it in the theater. There weren't many people at the theater. Other than the three of us there was maybe only five or six other people. We watched in silence as the story unfolded. At the end we stayed for the credits letting it sink in. Another group of three also stayed for the credits. As the credits ended we all got up but then kind of lingered in an aisle for a moment and talked about the movie. Then as we were leaving we wished them a Merry Christmas and they wished us a Happy Hanukkah. We all said thank you and were grateful for the good wishes as we continued out into the night.

They were not offended by our greeting and we were not offended by their greeting. To me that is religious tolerance. Not pretending different religions don't exist and never mentioning them. And to those claiming that a wish of Merry Christmas is forcing my views on you . . . it isn't. If you don't believe in Christmas or the meaning behind it then all I am saying to you is to have a nice December 25th. And I won't apologize for it and I won't take it back. Just like if someone wishes me a happy Jewish, Muslim, or any other religious holiday I won't feel forced or compelled to believe their beliefs.

But I will feel grateful that they took the moment to wish me well.

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