Imagine a street with a number of places of worship from Buddhist to Hindu to Islam to Christian. Do they have to bother each other? Could we not just worship in our own way confident the God is not exhausted by revealing to one faith but can reveal him or herself to other faiths, in different ways, languages, images, rituals or perhaps this multi-faith and multi-cultural street does impact each group?
If there was only one place of worship or language in the street it means more space for you and your followers and for what is familiar.
It does not mean more people getting into heaven or learning about God's love though because not everyone in the world follows the same faith or communicates via the same language and that includes some of the people you may know and like or love.
If God was only Christian far less people would be dedicated to God and doing good deeds thanks to the other faith traditions that exist and if only Australia existed in this world it would end the bad and good from other parts of this world we know.
The Baha'i faith has no problem with progressive revelation which is that God can reveal through all faith traditions not just their own. The Sikh and Jewish faiths have no problem surviving without trying to convert everyone they meet to their faith in fact within mainstream Judaism converting people is discouraged. The Ancient Greeks had no problem with seeing parallels with other faith ideas and combining them with their own and the English language has had no problem surviving for centuries despite thousands of other languages to choose from.
A place with many faiths and cultures will bring differences and people will disagree. Religions are not basically all the same contrary to the popular idea that they are. There are some big differences in how faiths view Jesus, the nature of God, or the nature of people, or of the afterlife, and how we should live but difference is okay and it is actually logical.
We can read things differently. When Jesus said love your enemies does that mean never kill even during war or self-defence? Some argue yes others no.
When Jesus said the only way to get to God is through him does that mean one has to be a Christian or was he saying that through his sacrifice he has made it possible for all people no matter their faith to get into heaven?
What about an exhausted agreement. Every group that we don't belong to is out to get us or suspect. We have been doing that for long enough and so an exhausted agreement to stop all of that.
We could enjoy instead the multi-faith multi-cultural goods that exist. Enjoy a free meal at a Sikh Temple or the contributions made to the sciences by Muslims, the work for peace done by multiple faith groups like the Buddhists and Quakers. The food as well, the music, the stories, the artwork, the friendships, and all that comes from that difference and perhaps think of something many faiths teach, the oneness of humanity.
And if peace is disturbed if a group is attacked be it a religious group or cultural group, rich or poor, liberal or conservative, male or female or they, it should be viewed as an attack on all of us not to take away from those attacked but because it is an attack on all of us.
9/11 was not just an American tragedy people from almost 90 countries died in those attacks. It was after all the world trade centre and between those towers there stood a hotel with local and international guests and planes with people from different parts of the world.
There were dozens of Muslims that died such as a staff member of the hotel that was asked to evacuate but stayed to help guests escape and a Muslim cadet who saw what happened and entered the building to rescue people.
A member of the Sikh faith mistaken for a Muslim gunned down days after 9/11 in America and a Mosque in the greater Brisbane area of Queensland, Australia not long after that crime, set alight in pay back for 9/11.
The attacks impacted many people from many parts of the world and had global implications like the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Just like climate change motivates people around the world to act because it is global so should acts of hate and violence because like air pollution it poisons not just a group targeted but all people in one way or another.
It was global, in NZ a memorial to the firefighters that died on 9/11 and around the world. In London, a memorial to remember the Brits killed and everyone else. In Jerusalem for the hundreds of Jews killed and others there is a monument, in Brisbane a tree planted to remember the 10 Australians and others that were killed and a monument in Italy and other places.
The victims were like us, same ages, same hobbies, same tastes in food, same life goals, same hairstyles, same and different.
We need to push back against the violence, the hate and intolerance in this world whenever it happens.
This article celebrates the anniversary of 9/11 and International Peace Day.