"Freedom of Religion," a Commentary by Carolyn C. Peterson

March 24, 2007

Author: Carolyn C. Peterson

Source: Mining Gazette


In a five-week course entitled “Embracing Mortality” I was privileged to hear how various religious traditions deal with death and the afterlife. As I listened to the Hindu, Baha’i, Muslim, Buddhist and Jewish speakers, I, a Christian, celebrated the fact that we Copper Country folk can openly practice whatever religion most effectively inspires our hearts.

More importantly, I learned that all faith traditions agree on the characteristics of a good earthly life: Reverence, humility, compassion, service, forgiveness, generosity, and peace with justice.

The great prophets of all time have lived by these spiritual values. They stood in solidarity with the most vulnerable against the powers of materialism, exclusiveness, and militarism. In at least one sense, these wise leaders achieved immortality.

The teachings of all religions would strengthen followers to speak truth to power, but many religious people today have aligned themselves with the very powers the great prophets stood against. No wonder secular people call us hypocrites.