Most Catholics I speak with support the idea that all religions are valid. On this forum it seems that many of you believe that the Catholic church is the only true church while some of you believe that God’s church encompasses various forms of Christianity. This is new to me. The Catholics I see most regularly do not believe that God did anything through Jesus that hasn’t been accomplished through other religions. I spent a year in teacher’s college with a good number of religion teachers - the ones I got to know were very pluralistic and that is what the religion teacher at the university taught as well. They told me that they practice their faith because they were born into it, not because it is the only way.
Some religions seem to be very docile. Buddhism is a philosophy that is in contradiction with Christianity, but it is a philosophy that leads followers to be peaceful and relaxed. Islam is a religion that is a reaction to the monotheism of Judaism and Christianity, but written into its central text (the Qur’an) is the idea that Jews and Christians are not to be trusted and can be killed if they are seen to be challenging Islam or the success of Muslims. As I’ve studied religions I’ve found that each makes claims, that it has the ultimate authority - they all stand as the one and only truth.
How can we imagine that all religions are valid in God’s eyes?
Here’s an example of two Catholics I know who are open to other religious ideas beyond the teachings and direction of Christ.
1: Nearly every time I talk to her she analyzes me with astrology. I’ll do something and she’ll laugh and nod and say something like: “you are saying that because you are a ________ and because it is April you are likely to be this way and say these sorts of things… but be careful because…” She doesn’t read scripture and doesn’t talk about God, yet she has trained to teach religion in high school and she goes to mass religiously.
2. the other woman has been a religion teacher for a long time and is preparing to retire. I went to visit her and she was having a student read her cards. The student had brought in a deck of tarot cards and was attempting to tell her religion teacher’s future during lunch.
I just don’t get it.