Letter: Tolerance is idea worth worshipping



Alice Cox’s Jan. 8 letter — “The ‘other sheep’?” — is a prime example of religious intolerance.

Essentially, all religions have the same failings. All their gods, past and present, exhibit severe character flaws. And to say that one religion is better than another just does not wash.

Author Christopher Hitchens gave a concise explanation of religion.

He said, “The original problem with religion is that it is our first, and our worst, attempt at explanation. It is how we came up with answers before we had any evidence. It belongs to the terrified childhood of our species, before we knew about germs or could account for earthquakes. It belongs to our childhood, too, in the less charming sense of demanding a tyrannical authority: a protective parent who demands compulsory love even as he exacts a tithe of fear. This unalterable and eternal despot is the origin of totalitarianism, and represents the first cringing human attempt to refer all difficult questions to the smoking and forbidding altar of a Big Brother. This of course is why one desires that science and humanism would make faith obsolete, even as one sadly realizes that as long as we remain insecure primates we shall remain very fearful of breaking the chain.”

Steve Engard