Last week I attended the Parliament of the World's Religions, a gathering at Salt Lake City of 10,000 people from around the world. My first impression was amazement at the variety of headgear on display as I wandered the halls of the gargantuan Salt Palace convention center.
On October 16-19 a Parliament of various religious traditions was held in Salt Lake City. The first of these was held in Chicago in 1893, and after a century hiatus, another one in 1993. Subsequently the Parliament has met every five years.
There was a time in my life I would have agreed. I would have felt, for example, that to even respect another religion would be to compromise my own. Today, however, I realize that was an expression of my insecurity, not a compromise of my faith.
The underlying assumption of the Parliament is that religion can be a positive force for moral suasion of individuals and society by providing a vision of a better world and promoting necessary values.
Leigh Taylor-Young and I participated recently in the Parliament of the World's Religions in Melbourne, Australia. Nelson Mandela attended that Parliament and spoke of his debt to religion throughout his life.