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Negative comments from visitors to this web site

Part 2

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This topic is continued from the previous essay.

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Topics covered in this essay:


Your religion is dumb


Your web site is offensive


Your web site is confusing


Your web site is stupid and false


You are not honest

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Your religion is dumb:

Incoming comment: your religion is the dumbest thing ive ever heard..... how can you be ignorant enough to follow it.... it was made up by someone w/ a 7th grade education, and also the next president was a criminal.... the ppl that follow this religion are loosers who have no life and follow this religion to make an excuse for y they dont go to parties on the weekends.  thank you for your time and cooperation

Our response: Thanks for your note.

You seem to misunderstand the nature of our site. That is a very common situation because there are almost 100 million web sites that mention "God." However, almost all are promoting only a single faith group, tradition, sect, or denomination within a single religion. We are different:

  • We do not promote a specific religion; we don't promote secularism.

  • We don't promote a religious life as superior to a secular life, or vice versa.

  • We do promote the concept of religious tolerance: to give everyone full religious rights, including freedom of belief, speech, assembly, and proselyzing.

Our web site has many dozens of essays on various religions and denominations, from Asatru to Zoroastrianism. You apparently read one of them that you disagree with.

I haven't the foggiest idea to which religion you are referring. But I assure you that people who follow that religion are quite sincere. In all probability, they believe that their religion is true -- perhaps the only true faith group, tradition, denomination or sect within their religion. And of course, they probably consider their religion to be the only true religion in the world.

If there is a third World War, it will be probably caused by religious intolerance. Most of the conflicts in the last decade have been largely based on religious hatred. Consider Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Cyprus, Nigeria, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and now ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

We feel that it is a good idea to tolerate other people's religions even though we think that their beliefs are wrong. As a minimum, we should respect their right to hold their beliefs, no matter how ridiculous they seem to us. The other options simply spill too much blood.

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Your web site is offensive:

Incoming comment: I am deeply offended by your site. I am tolerant of other religions, but I sincerely believe buddhists and wickens go to hell. You are saying that all religions lead to heaven. This offends me because I feel you are giving people the wrong impression about Christianity. Christianity proclaims itself to be exclusive. You cannot believe in Hinduism (for example) and still be a Christian. John 14:6 "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. "

Our response: Many, perhaps most, of our visitors find large portions of our web site offensive. As the main author, I also find thousands of passages distasteful. Let me explain why: Suppose you are a very conservative Christian. You will see lots of information here, written from a liberal Christian perspective. This will probably offend you deeply. It may well be blasphemous in your eyes. But, suppose you are a very liberal Christian -- perhaps a United Church member who agrees with much of what the Jesus Seminar writes. You will see information written from a conservative Christian perspective. This will probably offend you deeply. It may well be blasphemous in your eyes. So, no matter what your religious beliefs, we can almost guarantee that you will find a lot of material on our web site that will disturb you. However, we ask you to consider our mandate which is to explain all viewpoints on all religious and moral topics. If we were to leave out points of view that some people find offensive, then we would not have much to write about.

Concerning your reference to "buddhists and wickens:" It is normal practice to capitalize both the names of religions and the name by which their followers are called. This is a sign of respect. I think that you are referring to Buddhists and "Wiccans." The latter follow the religion of "Wicca."

Yours is a common belief among conservative Christians. Many believe that Buddhists, Wiccans, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Zoroastrians, Taoists, etc will all go to Hell for a thought crime: namely that they follow the wrong religion and believe in the wrong (or no) God. In fact, many Fundamentalist and other Evangelical Christians feel that the majority of Christians, whether they be unsaved Roman Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, members of the United Church, etc., will end up in Hell." There are certainly a lot of passages in the Bible that you can quote to support this belief. However, there are other Christians who find the idea of Hell blasphemous. They cannot harmonize the concept of the torture chambers of Hell and a loving God. They reject the idea that God would throw people into Hell for all eternity to be tortured because of their beliefs.

But we commend you for being tolerant of people of other religions, even though you disagree with their beliefs. If the rest of the people in the world were like you then we would not be experiencing the many religiously-based conflicts, mass murders and genocides that have been reported in recent years.

I think that you are in error when you accuse us of stating that all religions lead to heaven.  When we talk about most Christian groups, we discuss Christian beliefs about places like Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. When we talk about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons, we talk about the three levels of Heaven, and Hell. When we talk about Wicca, we discuss the Summerland. When we discuss Hinduism and Buddhism, we discuss transmigration of souls (one possibility of reincarnation). I don't recall any essay on our web site that says that all religions lead to heaven. If you find one please E-mail its file name (e.g. heav_hel.htm). We will drop everything and investigate.

There are certainly passages in the Bible that express the exclusive position about salvation. However, there are many mainline and liberal Christians who reject that position and interpret those passages differently. They largely ignore the "I AM" statements in John and concentrate rather on the justice passages throughout the Bible and the inclusive passages in the Synoptic Gospels (Mark, Matthew and Luke) which in which Jesus is recorded as talking about salvation in terms of deeds, of good works.

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Your web site is confusing:

Incoming comment: Your language is somewhat confusing, since at times, you appear to respect all religions although all cannot be any argument, both persons can be wrong, but both cannot be right.

Our response: I think that you may be confusing two very different items:


Religious truth: This is a belief: whether or not we regard a given religion as being true or, at least, as containing some truth.


Religious tolerance: This is a behavior: how we treat people who think differently from ourselves, and hold beliefs that are different from ours.

Beliefs are not necessarily tied to behavior.

If you were born into a Christian denomination and have followed it into adulthood, you will probably believe that your denomination possesses the fullness of truth. You may well feel that other faith groups, perhaps including Liberal denominations, Roman Catholicism, Pentecostal denominations, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Science etc. are, to a degree, in error. You may think that non-Christian religions even further divorced from the truth. But you can always choose how to behave towards believers of other faith groups:


Suppose you are a Protestant. You are interviewing a person for a job in your business. She wears a Roman Catholic crucifix. You can choose to ignore the crucifix, view her simply as a person seeking employment, and evaluate her potential to fill the job opening. Or you can choose to reject the applicant because she is not of your religion.


Suppose that you are a Christian in a town where a Muslim group is trying to have their cemetery plan approved by the zoning board so that they have a sacred space to bury their dead. You can choose to turn out to the public meeting  and support their application even though they are not of your religion. Alternatively, you can decide to oppose their application because they are not of your religion.


Suppose that you are a Jew and you hear that a local public school principal has told a Wiccan student that she cannot wear a pentacle on school grounds. You can chose to call the principal or write a letter to the local newspaper, criticize their action, and emphasize the importance of religious freedom for all. Or, you can decide to contact the principal or write a letter supporting his action.

Tolerance does not involve accepting that other beliefs are true or even partly true.  Conservative Protestantism, liberal Protestantism, Roman Catholicism and many other variations on Christianity all teach very different beliefs. If you Iconsider also the other religions followed in the U.S. and Canada, you have over a thousand belief systems. Only one can be "true." Perhaps none are. But one's belief about the accuracy of other people's beliefs does not necessarily have to determine how you choose to behave towards them.

Considering non-believers to be less than deserving of full human rights is the first step defining them as sub-human. This is a giant step along the path that leads to the gas ovens of Auschwitz.

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Your web site is stupid and false:

Incoming comment: Your whole website is a forum for idiots and liars, to promote stupidity and falsehood! (The original Email, which came from a doctor, is paraphrased here with the obscenities and the third commandment violation removed.)

Our response: I totally agree with you.

There is an enormous amount of information on our site which I believe is pure garbage, misinformation, disinformation, etc. But it is junk that a substantial percentage of North Americans honestly believe to be true.

I think that you misunderstand the nature of our web site. Unlike about 99.9% of the religious web sites on the Internet, we do not promote one point of view:


On topics related to Bible passages, we explain at least the conservative and liberal Christian position. Sometimes, we toss in the beliefs of the early Christian church from the first two centuries CE. It is amazing how often these three positions differ from each other.


On topics related to abortion, we explain all sides, including pro-life and pro-choice.


On topics related to homosexual orientation, we explain the beliefs of religious conservatives; we also explain the beliefs common to most human sexuality researchers, therapists, gay, lesbians and religious liberals.

We are not promoting our own beliefs here. We are acting as reporters, explaining the diversity of other peoples' beliefs. In North America, there is an enormous range of beliefs about hundreds of topics ranging from abortion access to equal rights for homosexuals, to the inerrancy of the Bible, to the death penalty. Each of these conflicting viewpoints is held by sincere, intelligent, thoughtful people, may of whom have a strong religious faith. Please consider the possibility that people who hold different beliefs from you are also sincere, intelligent, devout, logical thinkers.

If you are a religious conservative, then you may find that our descriptions of liberal viewpoints are: "...a forum for idiots and liars, to promote stupidity and falsehood!"

If you are a religious liberal, then you may find that our descriptions of conservative viewpoints are: "...a forum for idiots and liars, to promote stupidity and falsehood!"

The problem is not our web site. It is the diversity of beliefs in North American societies. So if our web site reflects reality, everyone will find large portions of it to be junk. I know that we do.

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You are not honest:

Incoming comment: After reading your website, it is obviously a Seventh Day Adventist website. Why not be up front and honest and STATE that you ARE a Seventh Day Adventist website? The pretense that it is an independent and unbiased website does you more harm than good. It takes a gullible person to buy into your pretense.

Our response: I love your letter!

We have been accused of being Satanists, Witches, Scientologists, Muslims, Jews. And now you accuse us of being Seventh Day Adventists.

In reality, we are a multi-faith group consisting of an Agnostic, Atheist, Christian, Wiccan and Zen Buddhist. The Christian is a United Church member.

Our entire site is very open about what it is and what its goals are. 

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Our responses copyright © 2003 to 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2024-OCT-04
Compiler: various OCRT staff
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