Interfaith Relations snapshot

Interfaith relations in the United States is a convoluted mess of perceptions, international conflicts, and xenophobia. The Pew Trust has released their latest survey of American attitudes towards various religions and no one scores particularly well.

As anyone who works in the field of interfaith relations will confirm, there is a vast difference between doctrinal relations and personal relations between clergy and between informed laity. The doctrinal is always more contentious as mistrust and triumphalism infuse the statements of faith and belief. These relations are usually led by Defenders of the Faith

The best and most productive is the one-to-one relationships between believers of one tradition and another. This is a self-selecting group who meet other traditions a variety of reasons. Some want to explain themselves, some are curious to learn what others believe and a good number seek out other faiths in hope of better informing their own religious beliefs.

Religion can build bridges. Religion should build bridges and yet, religion often does the opposite. This is what Pew found:

By Glenn Jacob

Rabbi, Community Leader, Fundraiser, Board Development, Non-profit management, strategic planning, educator, writer, and editor.

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