I HAVE been thinking about religious fundamentalism ever since the Paris shootings and have coma to the conclusion that we need to be fundanientalists too, but only fundamentalists about love, mercy, grace, forgiveness and tolerance.
Tolerance means not agreeing with the other point of view but welcoming its freedom of expression as a sign of respect for our common humanity. Otherwise it would not be tolerance. It would be agreement! We all need to learn how to tolerate each other, without necessarily agreeing with other.
That includes us Christians in how we tolerate atheists and those of oiher faiths, and atheists too in how they tolerate Christians and those of other faiths. It includes all of us who are not Muslims in the way we need to tolerate Islam in its normal nonextremist expression, and other faiths such as Judaism and Hinduism too .
Tolerance is not agreement — it is taking the path of the Good Samaritan and loving the person who is different from ourselves. If we can all be fundamentalists in the ways of love, peace and tolerance the world would be a much happier place.
The Reverend Simon Tillotson, Whitstable
Herne Bay Times, January 28th 2015