Editorial: True Religious Tolerance

March 31, 2003

Source: Columbia Daily Spectator

On March 31, 2003 the Columbia Daily Spectator published an editorial by Jennifer Thorpe stating that "in today's interconnected world, we as students and members of society are learning increasingly about other people's religious beliefs and spiritual practices. We must confront issues of religious tolerance and how nowhere in the world does universal religious tolerance exist in practice. I was raised as a Jew by a Jewish mother and a Catholic father... They may have raised me Jewish, but they only really cared that I believed in a God that would care for me and humble me... During my years here at Columbia, especially since Sept. 11, religion has become more than simply a practice. It has become an issue that must be discussed and dealt with. It is repellent that any person is denied the right to practice his or her religion... Religious tolerance is not just about letting a Jew be a Jew and Muslim be a Muslim. It is also about letting each person engage in whichever practices he or she chooses, without feeling pressured or limited. True religious tolerance will exist not only when anyone who wishes to follow an organized religion is allowed to do so but when anyone can engage in whichever spiritual practices he or she chooses independent of his or her labeled religion."