If any micro-religion claims to be the one and only true faith it would imply it’s right to persecute all others, and all others would have an equal right to make the same claim.
Christian theology makes the claim to uniqueness or claims to be “the only way to God” yet rejects the notion of persecution. Jesus commanded through His disciples that they do their best to do good to people that persecute them. The disciples also were mandated to love all men, regardless of whether they were Christians or not.
I know there are religions that associate uniqueness of faith with justification for persecution. Uniqueness of Christian theology lies in the claim to uniqueness and rejection of mistreatment of those who reject the faith. In a Christian civil society, people are judged by morals we all to a large degree agree with, morals any one who falls prey to the wrong end of wishes were adhered to. These are:
Honor your parents. This is possible even when people choose to distance themselves from their parents. This is the rationale for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security in the United States and counterparts of these programs in other developed countries. Lets not just discuss developing countries else this article would go completely off track.
Do not steal. No one in their right mind wants their home burgled. Civil society concurs. Stealing is prosecuted.
Do not bear false witness. Perjury that puts others in trouble is a crime. People are committed to jail for perjury.
Do not commit murder. Civil society agrees. A soldier single handedly kills a hundred opposing soldiers in battle, he is a hero. A soldier in his right mind kills a hundred civilians, he is a villian and murderer.
Unless a couple have agreed to have a sharing agreement in so far as sex is concerned, adultery is grounds for divorce most places in the world.
Institutional covetousness is mitigated using patents, copyrights, trademarks, all of which are within purview of governments or civil society. Civil society agrees innovations need to be protected such that innovators have the opportunity to reap rewards before others can copy their innovations.
The one area where civil government struggles? Protecting individuals against covetousness. It has not been easy to protect people against powerful interests that covet their wives, husbands, children, property, small businesses, nice house in prime location needed for mall development (even in America this has not been easy) etc. It has been easier to protect large businesses than to protect the individual citizen or small businesses. This is where intellectuals and well meaning people need to focus effort.
How do we improve protections afforded every individual when forces at work are subtle and operating in the shadows or background? This is the morality question for today’s world.
Those who bash religion only make protection of the individual more difficult. Yes, religion can be the opium of masses, resulting in exploitation, the exact antithesis of true spirituality. Spirituality, which gives birth to religious organizations, however, is what ensures we care about the welfare of every single person on this planet.
It is the case that religious organization always is preceded by Spirituality of an enlightened person.
If we would get past the religiosity of followers and get to the heart of the generating spirituality, we can celebrate what makes for harmonious living in society and avoid acrimony of religious differences.
Christianity is a way of life first and foremost, not a religion. Many people who write about religion and negative influences of religion have not taken the time to study essence of Christianity. Religious organizations that are Christian are not the essence of Christianity. They are made up of people and can lose their way. We can appreciate the essence of the spirituality of a religion by abstracting away from failures of religious organizations and studying the essence of the religion for ourselves.
There is no bigotry in Christianity. This theme runs throughout the entire New Testament of the Bible. Love is the essence of Christianity. Have Christians fallen short of this standard in the past and currently? Absolutely. But failures of followers do not alter the essence of a spiritual paradigm.