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Those of us with Facebook profiles will know that there is a space where you can, if you wish, display your religion. You can leave it blank, select one of the major religions or write anything in there - anything at all.
Up until yesterday, my religion box announced
“Tolerant of all; except the intolerant.”
I thought that pretty much encapsulated my belief that, as a species, we should not allow religion to divide us. Further, those who would use religion as a weapon to divide us are the most evil people on this planet.
However, yesterday, I learned from retiring High Court judge, Justice Michael Kirby, that mere “Tolerance” is not enough.
I’m a little bit suspicious of the word tolerance. It’s a rather condescending notion, isn’t it, that you tolerate somebody else. Acceptance is the notion that you just accept that people are different and have different views and we’ve all got to live together.
- Justice Michael Kirby in a Sunday Profile interview with Monica Attard on ABC Radio.
I share Michael Kirby’s belief that Australia is uniquely well placed as a multicultural society and a multi-religious society to find bridges between faiths and if we can do that we can make another contribution to the world, as a tolerant, accepting society.
As of yesterday, my Facebook profile announces that I am
“Accepting of all; except the intolerant.”
Could I have said that better?