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Quotations about religious tolerance by
persons whose names begin "A" to D"

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The term "religious tolerance" has two distinct meanings:

  1. Conservative Protestants, often define the term "religious tolerance" as meaning that a person must beleive that all religions and their associated beliefs are true. Of course, this  conflicts with a common belief among religious conservatives in the existence of absolute truth and their belief that only their faith correctly reflects "God's Word." Thus, many conservative Protestants reject religious tolerance, as they define it, because they view it as an undesirable goal.
  2. Among other individuals and groups, it generally means to avoid fearing, hating, oppressing or discriminating against persons whose religious beliefs happen to be different from your own. Religious tolerance then becomes a human rights issue -- something that most people feel is desirable goal.

We use the second definition. However, we are continually criticized because some of our visitors assume that we use the first meaning.

The English language has negative terms that describe fear/hatred/discrimination directed at people because of their gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and national origin. The terms are: sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia. But we have no term that describes the fear/hatred/discrimination directed at people because of their religion. We have suggested the term "religism" to fill this gap

"Amanda:" An 8th grade student from Brooklyn NY. An excerpt from her poem "Don't Go," about the 9-11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center:

"A shattered city is all that is left behind.
These acts of hatred have left us blind.
Too blind to see what the world would be,
With peace and love and all people free."

Anon (taken from the Native American Indian Traditional Code of Ethics. Inter-Tribal Times, 1994-OCT)

"8. All the races and tribes in the world are like the different colored flowers of one meadow. All are beautiful. As children of the Creator they must all be respected."


"Toleration isn't much. But it is the first step towards curiosity, interest, study, understanding, appreciating and finally valuing diversity. If we can get everyone on the first step of tolerance, at least we won't be killing each other."


"Religious tolerance is not religious indifference. Tolerance means to value the right of another person to hold beliefs that you know are absolutely wrong."


"Everyone has their own path. Walk yours with integrity and wish all others peace on their journey. When your paths merge, rejoice for their presence in your life. When the paths are separated, return to the wholeness of yourself, give thanks for the footprints left on your soul, and embrace the time to journey on your own."

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Abdul Baha, "I Heard Him Say"

"Let us have love and more love; a love that melts all opposition, a love that conquers all foes, a love that sweeps away all barriers, a love that aboundeth in charity, a large-heartedness, tolerance, forgiveness and noble striving, a love that triumphs over all obstacles."

Dr. Erhard Busek, M.P., Austria

"The struggle against intolerance is a duty of the individual as well as an obligation of the society."

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George W. Bush, President:

Address to a joint session of Congress, 2001-SEP-20.

"I ask you to uphold the values of America and remember why so many have come here. We're in a fight for our principles, and our first responsibility is to live by them. No one should be singled out for unfair treatment or unkind words because of their ethnic background or religious faith."

At a news conference on 2005-APR-28:

"Role of religion in our society? I view religion as a personal matter. I think a person ought to be judged on how he or she lives his life or lives her life. And that's how I've tried to live my life: through example. Faith plays an important part in my life individually. But I don't ascribe a person's opposing my nominations to an issue of faith'. The great thing about America is that you should be allowed to worship any way you want. And if you chose not to worship, you're equally as patriotic as somebody who does worship. And if you choose to worship, you're equally American if you're a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim."

Alexander Chase, journalist and editor:

"More and more people care about religious tolerance as fewer and fewer care about religion."

G.K. Chesterton, Catholic theologian:

"Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions." (Spotted as the "quoteworthy" selection on CitizenLink news mailing from Focus on the Family, 2010-MAR-03)

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Lee R. Clancey, Mayor of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in a Proclamation promoting diversity & tolerance:

"...tolerance is a personal decision that comes from an attitude that is learnable and embraceable - a belief that every person in earth is a treasure, vital to the health and prosperity of all..."

Eldridge Cleaver, "Soul on Ice"

"The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less."

James Dobson, founder and president of Focus on the Family" interviewed by Tony Snow of Fox News Channel, 2001-SEP-20

"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." 1

See also quotations by persons whose name begin "E" to "W"


  1. The term "pluralism" is ambiguous. Here, Dr. Dobson appears to be using the word to refer to religious diversity in the country. Other times, the word is used to refer to the belief that all religions are true.

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Copyright 1996 to 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Copyrights for the individual quotations held by their creators
Last updated: 2014-NOV-27
Compiled by: B.A. Robinson

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