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Religious Tolerance logo


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Sponsored link.

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The following pledge was written by a Buddhist and a Christian.

It is suitable for personal or group use. A hard copy suitable for framing might be available in the future.

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Recognizing that the search for answers to the questions of life has led humanity down diverse spiritual paths;


Recognizing that human beings have an inalienable right to cherish and maintain their spiritual beliefs;


Recognizing that truth may be expressed and experienced through diverse spiritual beliefs;

We, the undersigned, do hereby pledge to respect the right of all members of the human family to believe and practice the spiritual belief, faith or religion of their choice,


We further pledge our support for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (passed without dissenting vote by the United Nations on 10 December 1948) and especially for Article 18:

"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."


We, the undersigned, do hereby pledge to encourage others to read, sign, and live up to this pledge in order to help establish a new era of respect for human spirituality around the world.

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Invitation to Respond

We invite you to send us your thoughts on this pledge:

bulletwhy you think such a pledge is important?
bulletwhat does religious freedom mean to you?
bullethow you can contribute to spiritual freedom and tolerance in your locality, etc.

We will post your response below, (unless you ask us not to), along with your initials (so you can find it).

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Reader Responses:

The most recent responses are at the top of the list. We publish the Emails from our readers without change, unless noted, except for passing them through our spell checker.

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bulletFrom P.C., 2001-MAR-24

This pledge is very nice at face value, but it doesn't address the fact that billions of people are the victims of innumerable forms of religious dominance and are unwilling or unable to voluntarily move beyond the dogmatic belief systems that hold them under the power of religious "authority" figures. Spiritual dominance over others is one of the oldest mechanisms in human society because it provides the dominator with authority, power, wealth and celebrity. Those of us who are stuck under the thumbs of such figures are often blind to their own subtle entrapment. When humanity gently, firmly and knowingly rejects the popes, lamas, priests, rabbis, ayatollahs, monks, gurus and charismatics; when we see beyond question that there can be no authority over us in matters of spirit and religion; when we have removed our support from their empires of power and dominance us; when religion is known only as the reality of inward resonance with the Divine and is nothing of organisation, missions, money or doctrine - know only then that humanity has reached a truly remarkable level in evolution that may approach enlightenment.

bulletFrom J.W., 1999-SEP-16

"I think that we as Christians primarily, have a very naive are maybe even opted for, idea of what is ultimately right and wrong. What makes the religion that we were taught and because of that, accept, more superior to anyone else's? We only readily accept God how He is first represented to us be it as Jesus Christ, Jah, Allah, or Jehovah. GOD is ever present and ever constant. GOD is LOVE. LOVE is ALL THAT MATTERS."

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bulletFrom H.K., 1999-MAY-26

"I was struck by the comments of some readers who seem to understand that this site (and this pledge) promotes the belief and practice of religion.  That is, the religious person as superior to the non-believer, and a religious society as superior to one that is not." 

"Surely tolerance includes respect for those without religion."

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bulletFrom: C.C., 1999-MAR-13

"I enthusiastically support your Freedom on Spirituality Pledge. Every Citizen should have the right to worship to the extent that their conscience mind allows. Freedom of thought is necessary in a civilized society to foster creativity and Progress."

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bulletFrom:  Z.F., 1998-DEC-11

"I can only hope and pray that each of us in our own way will be able to practice the worship of a higher spiritual power without interference from governments or moral busybodies who sometimes believe that they know what is good for us or what is bad for us.

I believe that my form of worship is right. That does not mean that I impose what is right for me on another human being. It, also, means that I refuse to dehumanize by belittling another's belief system -as long as it doesn't injure or enslave anyone."

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bulletFrom:  C., 1998-NOV-1

"I was raised a Unitarian, so I spent 13 years doing a comparative religion study--from the Creation stories of various peoples through the Egyptians, Jews, Christians, and also the Eastern religions. I cannot imagine being a
civilized person and not being tolerant of the religions of others. In Singapore, the school children are taught the religions of every group in their country. This works. The people of Trinidad are very pleased that their country celebrates the main religious holidays of the Hindus, Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc. They have the most national holidays of any country!!

Kidnapping, killing, and ostracism due to religious beliefs are completely unacceptable to me. Thank you for putting this pledge on the net. I completely support it.

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Sponsored link:

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bulletFrom:  T.C., 1998-OCT-12

"It is my viewpoint that the common denominator of religions is the underlying adherence to a set of tenets which lead to a higher level of ethical and moral behaviour. The following of these tenets creates an
agreement by the members of that religion, which results proportionately in a higher level of living in the society.

The lack of tolerance of individuals' religions threatens to break down the strength of religion in society, thus breaking down one's ability to have an ethical and moral environment in which to live. The results of this could be catastrophic.

I feel quite strongly about my own religion, and would spit on those who would threaten to take it from me, as this would be a threat to take away who I am, and my ability to make a difference for others while I am here.

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bulletFrom:  C.F., 1998-OCT-1 (Personal details omitted)

"I am a solitary practitioner of The Craft. Since completely coming out of the broom closet I have encountered several negative responses towards the old earth based religions. One woman at work told people not to get too friendly with me because I practice witchcraft. What many people don't understand is that our belief system is that of the three fold law. Whatever you put into life you get back "times three"...However, I have never been more aware of what I say and do since my practice in The Craft. I guess what I'm trying to say is that everyone should realize that there is not only one truth, there are many truths. You just need to find that which is right for you and, people should live and let live. We should come to the understanding that as different as people are in appearance, so it is the same with religion. I love all religions and have studied a wide range of them before coming to this path."

bulletFrom: C.F., 1998-SEP-19

"The pledge is a vital document, and this site gives us all an effective medium
for distribution of it to all of our on-line friends, which of course I will
do. Thank you for presenting it, and to the others who have written their own
accounts and beliefs on this subject. I don't believe that I could elaborate
much on what has already been said here. But I just wanted to write this to
offer my support as well. The pledge and this feedback has helped to broaden
my awareness of the need to stretch out beyond my own local concerns and take
some action, even if it is just spreading this word around."

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bulletFrom B.H., 1998-SEP-17

"The "Us vs. Them" mentality of religious intolerance has been the cause of terrible bloodshed over thousands of years. How many more lives will be lost? Unfortunately there are those who, in studying their religions, interpret their texts as being THE one. If God is so loving, how could He pick one religion over another? No, to those who say "Mine is the one" I reply: We are each born with a Divine spark inside us and  no one is any better than the other. There are no "chosen" - we ALL are chosen to be here and do the work of love for all mankind ! I like to use the "mountain" analogy: God (or any of the thousands of names) is the Light at the top of the mountain. We are all trying to get there. Some of us go straight up; others zig zag, while still others may go at right angles to reach the summit. We all have the same goal but a different way of getting there... just a different path.

There is beauty in every religious tradition. Who has not been reduced to tears by a hymn, a ceremony, sermon, reading or tradition or rite of passage? I was raised Protestant, introduced to the ways of the Muslim faith by travel in the Middle East. I married into Judaism and now, many years later, embrace "a little of a lot" of world religions in my religious practice: Christianity, Buddhism, Native American, Judaism. Basically - whatever strikes me in my soul is what I use. We are all the same species and we must stop looking at other religions and cultures different than ours as something to be feared and condemned.

Thank you for your Spiritual Freedom Pledge and the message it sends. This web site is a valuable reference point. Blessings to all, both the facilitators of the site and those who visit."

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bulletFrom N.Z., 1998-SEP-8

"It is important that people treat others with civility regardless of
differences in religion, as well as other differences such as ethnicity.
One of God's greatest gifts to us is that of free will. He respects that,
and allows us to make good and bad choices. Choosing the good would have
no meaning if we had no choice. So we are also to respect others'
choices, whether we agree with them or not, or think they are good or bad
choices. We might not be happy with the choice, since we have a right to
our own opinion and speech and choice as well, but we should be civil.
We should practice the Golden Rule: 'Do unto others as you'd have them do
unto you'.

There are some things that are neither good nor bad. For instance, if
someone dislikes another's ethnicity, that is simply prejudice (and
ethnicity is generally not even a choice). In the realm of religion,
however, there are many choices that can be made. We often see 'religious
wars' such as the conflicts in Northern Ireland or Kosovo. Religious
tolerance would help to partially defuse such conflicts, though much of it
actually is due to nationalistic and other reasons which are cloaked in a
religious veneer to give the impression that 'God is on our side'.
" <snip>

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bulletFrom C.A., 1998-AUG-25

"I firmly believe that Freedom of Religion is a crucial matter.

I am a Scientologist and I have witnessed a lot of hostility towards my religion and that of others. I recently went to Frankfurt and last year, in October, I went to Berlin to march for these rights.

I learned of many serious violations by the German government. This concerns us all. Let us not allow Hitler's fascist regime come down upon the world again.

We are all spiritual beings, regardless of color, creed or appearance. Let us respect one another for what we are, and for what we believe in, for we all -- except the truly degraded -- believe that man is basically good, and that religion is a step in that direction.

All men of goodwill wish others to fare well and prosper. All men of goodwill respect Freedom of Religion.

Let us all help each other to become all men of goodwill.

L. Ron Hubbard once said something to the effect of: When men can fully trust each other, there will be peace on Earth

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bulletFrom C.A., 1998-AUG-25

"I am American and my wife is Japanese. We are both members of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Unification church. Recently my wife returned to Japan. On May 15 she was kidnapped and confined by fanatics opposed to our religious faith. For seventy -two days she endured physical and mental abuse, slander, threat and other such persecutions from a deprogramming minister. On July 26, by the grace of God and the strength of His love, my wife escaped. She jumped from a second floor balcony. Even though she fractured her thigh and broke her wrist when she hit the ground, she got up and managed to run a quarter mile to a nearby road. There she stopped a passing car and the driver brought her to safety. Now my wife is free and we are together in a safe place. Despite the ordeal her faith remains unchanged.

The experience heightened our awareness to the plight of persecuted believers worldwide. . In the words of our Secretary of State Madeline Albright, 'the struggle for religious liberty does not end where our own personal freedom is assured.' As an American, this was a very important realization for me. Religious liberty is a right to be shared by all people. As an American, I took the gift of religious liberty for granted. My wife’s case awakened me to the problems abroad. I assumed the world had what I had. I did not understand America’s important role in God’s providence. Reverend Moon, the founder of our church, teaches 'God blessed America for the sake of the world'. Where I was content living in 'one nation under God', now I understand God desire is much greater.
One world under God is the goal of history. Religious freedom is a blessing God expects me to convey to others.
Therefore with honor my wife and I commit to uphold the tenets of the spiritual freedom pledge and we applaud all others who have done the same.

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bulletFrom T.B., 1998-AUG-11

"Preserving and expanding religious freedom is vital for the advance of culture and civilization. No matter what the faith -- and no matter if that faith is embraced by millions or by a single individual -- religious belief and practice represent the certainty that the spiritual essence of life can be known and, with it, the establishment of ethical and moral standards necessary to bring this world through to a higher, improved state of existence."

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bulletFrom S.Y., 1998-AUG-4

"I support your pledge, I have always believed that everyone has the God given right to choose their own spiritual belief without interference. There are many paths to the one source."

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bulletFrom T.G., 1998-AUG-2

"I think considering the amount of tragedy and misery that has occurred on this planet because of religious intolerance that this pledge is mightily important. It should be read by everyone. I wholeheartedly agree with its tenets and support everyone involved."

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bulletFrom M,W,, 1998-JUL-8

"Here's to a world where no black man is ever again dragged behind a truck, no Jewish youths decide a Palestinian farmer deserves a smack in the head from a plank of wood they're holding from inside a moving van, Catholics and Protestants lay down their guns and their slurs. Here's to that world. We should take this pledge. We should live this pledge. Let the people around each of us see that tolerance means a great deal to us...it means life itself."

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Continue with Part 2 of this essay

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Last update: 2001-MAR-24

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