About this web site: Ontario Consultants on
Religious Tolerance (OCRT):
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
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
The historical record shows that the beliefs of religious groups change
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
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.
by professional organizations, where available.
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.