Ideal vs. Reality: Religious Pluralism vs. Religious Tolerance

1302 Words 6 Pages
America is full and rich with diverse people, religions and values; they make America great. Just look at Riverside, California, there are over fifty churches of different denominations of Christianity, three synagogues, two temples, and one mosque; all coinciding peacefully in the city (Yellow Pages). Because Riverside is so diverse, religious pluralism and religious tolerance are two steps in making Riverside more connected. The first step is tolerance, a reflex that acknowledges a person will come across people of a different faith. The second step is pluralism, which is a better understanding of a person’s religion as well as the other religions around them. Many believe pluralism is the better of the two, because of the interaction …show more content…
Tolerance is reflexive discipline that does not require people interacting together, however most people used tolerance every day. Both pluralism and tolerance can been seen in society today as they are defined. The government is preventing pluralism, by pushing for tolerance. As America creates a social network for nations, the citizens are using tolerance, where they don’t have to learn or understand, making a barrier. For instance, Madeleine Albright in The Mighty and the Almighty, noted that U.S. ambassadors did not have to understand or know about the major religion of the country they were in (Prothero 5). This is dangerous because if ambassadors do not have to understand all of the country, then how can the United States expect a citizens to understand the religions around them. America is creating a nation where many are seeing the world from a solely tolerant perspective. The media contributes to the tolerant perspective, as there is a “us” vs. “them” mentality. As Douglas W. Shrader, a professor of Philosophy at the New York State University Oneonta, says “… we must learn to listen … because … we might learn something about ourselves...,” the piece explains when the America government can listen and learn the citizens of America can move forward into pluralism(9). The government can aid the citizens in taking down the barrier of tolerance and creating a door
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