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About this web site: Ontario Consultants on
Religious Tolerance

Part 1 of 5 parts:
Some quotations. OCRT purposes.


  • Albert Einstein: "The right to search for truth implies also a duty: one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true."

  • Dr. Erhard Busek, M.P., Austria: "The struggle against intolerance is a duty of the individual as well as an obligation of the society."

  • James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family: "It is very important to understand that pluralism is part of our system. We don't all think the same thing and part of our strength is that we come from different perspectives. We have to respect one another even when we disagree with each other. There has to be a spirit of tolerance for the views of others, while also being deeply committed to the positions we hold. If we do that, I think we can coexist and learn to love each other better." 

  • Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese artist & poet (1883 - 1931):

    "I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strangely, I am ungrateful to those teachers."

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Purposes of this OCRT:

The OCRT, the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, attempts to serve the people of the United States, Canada, and the rest of the English speaking world in four areas:

  • Disseminating accurate religious information: There are many hundreds of religious denominations and faith groups in the US and Canada; all are minorities. This is also seen in some other countries. We believe that:
    • There is a great deal of positive, and some negative, beliefs, practices, and teachings by all faiths. No one faith group is all good; none is all bad.

    • The historical record shows that the beliefs of religious groups change over time.

    • Within a given faith group, members hold a range of beliefs that are not necessarily shared by the leadership of their denomination or tradition.

    • Within a given religion, there are often many individual denominations, sects, faith groups, etc., teaching different beliefs and practices. Estimates of the number of Christian groups worldwide range from over 20,000 to over 30,000.

By informing people about various religions, their range of beliefs, and their historical development, we hope that people's understanding and tolerance will increase, while bigotry and intolerance will decrease. We also hope that our readers will better understand the positive and negative practices in their own faith tradition, and be motivated to work towards needed reforms. They will realize that faith groups change their religious teachings over time, and will probably continue to change in the future. With few exceptions, religious organizations have become less sexist, racist, homophobic and transphobic over time. But some have a long way still to go.

  • Exposing religious fraud, hatred and misinformation: There is an enormous amount of religious fraud, hatred and misinformation available in North American seminars, radio and TV programs, lectures, sermons, books, web sites, etc. Typically, they attack religions that have relatively few followers in the US and Canada: New Age, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Native American spirituality, Santeria, Satanism, Wicca (Witchcraft), etc. Other attacks are centered on the LGBT community. There have been one lynching, one attempted mass murder by stoning, many fire bombings, many mass shootings, physical assaults and economic attacks by some very devout, well meaning, but terribly misinformed people in North America who have victimized followers of minority religions. Outbreaks of anti-Semitism continue to plague both the US and Canada and appear to be on the rise around the world. Muslims are badly misrepresented in many media reports and attacked by some Christian leaders. Conservative Christians are often discriminated against in job hiring and promotion. Children have been seized from families on the basis of a child care worker's misinformed beliefs about the parent's religion. Parents have been prohibited from visiting their children because of a judge's religious bias. All of these injustices need to be exposed to public view and eradicated.

Unfortunately, on most Internet web sites devoted to these topics, only a single point of view is discussed -- that of the webmaster or of the sponsoring agency. Our goal is to present, compare and contrast all sides to each issue. We:

    • Provide background and historical information.

    • Explain the beliefs of various religious and secular groups.
    • Cite applicable passages from the Bible and other religious texts.

    • Describe the beliefs of conservative Christians, liberal Christians, 1st and 2nd century Christians, and followers of other religions.

    • Describe statements by professional organizations, where available.

We often analyze verses from the Bible, and use Christianity as a reference point, because about 70% of adults in North America regard themselves as Christian. The next largest organized religions, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Neopaganism and Buddhism are each followed by fewer than 2% of American adults.

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  • Promoting religious tolerance: Bruce Buursma of the Chicago Tribune once said:

    "Almost every story around the world has a religion sub-plot."

In recent decades, there have been a few largely inter-tribal mass murders and genocides. Consider Rwanda and Kenya. In comparison, many more conflicts have involved inter-religion and intra-religion differences. Consider Bosnia Herzegovina, Cyprus, India, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Philippines, Sri Lanka, much of the Middle East, and other hot spots. We feel that it is important to help people understand how the misuse of religion can result in profound evil, even in those countries like the U.S. and Canada that have traditionally experienced relative religious peace.

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This topic continues in the next essay

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  1. "Web Growth Summary" at: http://www.mit.edu/. They state that there were 10,022 web sites in 1994-DEC and 23,500 in 1995-JUN.

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Copyright 1996 to 2016, by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2016-MAR-12
Author: B.A. Robinson

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