Jason X said...
Sorry to distract you. I think you and the rest of us here will find this article in CPI very interesting.
September 19, 2010 12:31 PM
JASON, I read the CPI piece yesterday and had intended to feature Pak Sako's article for my TUESDAY'S PICK.
However, I feel that this impactful piece needs to stand alone.
Thanks for the nudge Jason X.
If a religious position is to be taken by any political party or any citizen that is founded on respect for religious beliefs and support for the freedom to practice any religion (or none at all), then this position should encourage living a life guided by a universal set of shared moral values and one containing aspects of the spiritual, whatever the religious or non-religious route taken. It follows that religion is a means towards these larger goals. This awareness is cardinal. Unity is achieved as a result of these common goals, not by having or propagating any particular religion.
What we should first abandon is the ambition to create a state of “one mankind under one religion”. We should not harbour false and childish hopes that only through one religion for all can we get people to step onto the expressway of righteousness and practice moral values, or that only thus can we lead everyone to the promised land of God-realisation, as if it is our duty and right. Such an aspiration is but a certain road to perdition.
Instead, we should be enlightened and courageous enough to consider accepting that people can take many valid paths towards goals of spirituality and right living.
We should be enlightened and courageous enough to consider admitting that no religion or belief system has a monopoly of or is exclusively privy to these moral values or “steps to the ultimate blessings of God or heaven”.
We should awaken to the fact that moral values and spiritual teachings are not exhaustively found in any one religion. The teachings of one religion can be instructive to adherents of another religion and vice versa.
We should be able to say that the choice of religion is a personal one; that in line with the right to freely practice one's religion as one shall practice it, religion and religious practices should not be imposed upon any individual such as by the authorities or the state, or by a society that has been so conditioned by state policy that it passively imposes religion upon its own members.
Should there be a public demand for religious guidance or for places of worship, then this shall be provided. In no uncertain terms should this be seen to imply consent for the imposition of religion or its practices by a righteous authority.
These are among the things that the so-called religious democrats should be forthright about, but are not.
This is what we should be striving for if we believe in a Malaysia that is just, free and harmoniously multi-religious, but are not.
There are serious obstacles to these that we are reluctant to come to terms with, but must.
Do continue HERE