Volume 90, Issue 98

Wednesday, April 02, 1997



Righteous religious harmony

Re: Religious faith off found principle parallels, March 27

To the Editor:

I want to express my thanks to Western's Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship and the Jewish Students' Union for having the courage to meet together to try to understand how Christians and Jews live out their different faiths.

This kind of dialogue, where deeply-held religious differences between faith groups are openly expressed in an attempt to gain further understanding, is exactly what is needed. In our society all faith groups are under pressure to sweep their differences under the rug in the name of tolerance. In other words, there exists much intolerance toward those who see that their deepest beliefs must precisely not be hidden. WVCF and JSU are to be commended for not hiding theirs.

I have one response to a comment, attributed to the Jewish panelists, about our "Christian-dominated society." The domination is today mainly formal. That is, Christian holidays on our calendars and the like exist merely as leftovers from an era that is now gone. It was an era when the vast majority of people accepted a Christian world view. The current situation is in part post-modern: a large number of ways of looking at the world are considered valid. But it remains even more strongly, modernist. That is, in the tradition of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment the dominant faith is not in Christ, but in the ability of human beings to progress towards an ever better future.

There is ample evidence to indicate that this faith is misplaced and dangerous. But it remains as the article of faith for western (and Western's) society, and as such tends to be intolerant of both the Jewish and Christian faiths (as well as that of most religions and cultures). And thank you to The Gazette staff for covering this event as well as to Ryan Parks for his willingness to get involved in it.

Michael Veenema
UWO Chaplain

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Copyright The Gazette 1997