Friday, March 6, 2009

Religious Tolerance

"Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions." - G.K. Chesterton

I've been trying to figure out whether it is a virtue or not, or rather, I always knew it wasn't a virtue, but whether it was necessary or not. Obviously if someone is right, then the freedom to choose wrongly is not a virtue (see Plato's Republic). But I live in a democracy-high people. So should we have equal choice? Hmmm. I think it's also a factor that the Roman Church has not been tolerated in England or America and so it makes me want tolerance, because it allows my beliefs to be tolerated. But, ideally, would I be for a country with church and state union if the church was correct.

I think there are other considerations. I lived in England and worked in the Church of England. The merger of Church and State destroyed the Church. But if Anglicanism was completely correct, then why not enforce it on everyone? We force democracy on people, so why not religion? I guess in an ideal sense the perfect state with the perfect religion would go well together, but we haven't been able to find practitioners of either, and in the words of Hamlet, "ay, there's the rub"

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