Thursday, 9 July 2015

The Value of Tolerance

Recently in the media, we have seen how some people unhappy with their children receiving religious instruction in school have gone to the high court requesting restrictions around religious instruction in schools.  It seems to me that Christianity is often portrayed as intolerant where my experience is that this is not the truth.

As Christian parents my husband and I chose to send our children to secular schools, in doing so exposing them to this secular world where our beliefs in some instances are very different.  We want our children to be a part of this multicultural world we live in.  It is still important that they are raised and live with our Christian values and beliefs.  To love God and to love others, to accept and value all people even those who look different, have different beliefs and cultures.

As part of the school curriculum they learned about Maori Gods, myths and legends and the theory of evolution among other things, even though we believe in Creationism as taught in the bible.  We often discuss what they are learning as well as any social issues that come up, with them from our view point and know they will make their own decisions about these things.

When it comes to human nature we seem quick to be intolerant of those who do not agree or who are different.  The standpoint of ‘we are right and you are wrong’ is not a good one and only breeds this intolerance.  Instead Christianity declares that every individual is free to choose, to make up their own mind.  And in a society where the manifestations of intolerance are evident isn’t the Christian message that pronounces we must love and accept all people as they are an important message to be taught in our schools?

Angela Thomas

Wairoa Rock Church

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