Notes on the “Letter About Tolerance”.

The “Letter About Tolerance” was written by John Locke. Below are some statements made in that text. They aren’t quotations, but paraphrases, and may or may not reflect my views on this subject.

  1. A church in which people are intolerant isn’t really a church at all.
  2. If you claim to be christian, you are supposed to behave in a loving manner.
  3. What makes a christian is his action, not empty words.
  4. If don’t love the neighbor as yourself, you are not very interested in your salvation or the salvation of anyone for that matter.
  5. That’s the behavior of some priests and pastors, who promote whatever unloving behavior among those who trust him for spiritual guidance.
  6. Do not persecute anyone (that includes pedophiles, by the way).
  7. No one should be converted by force (in fact, if a person says “I believe now, please stop hitting me!” is likely saying that just so you can leave them alone).
  8. If the Bible says that everyone will be judged by their own personal merit, then the controversy about which denomination to follow is not important.
  9. You are supposed to be preaching against murder, theft and other unloving behaviors, rather than against other denominations (“I’m a christian hating another christian, am I cool now?”).
  10. No religion should be endorsed by state.
  11. Religion should not meddle in politics; church and state are different things and must not be mixed.
  12. State can not “take care” of your soul.
  13. That’s because state’s power is coercive and material, thus having no power over spirit.
  14. Apart of Judaism and Islam, God didn’t give humans the right to impose a religion through the means of politics.
  15. State has nothing to do with “the other world”.
  16. Laws change according to place and time, so state really isn’t divinely inspired, as religion isn’t supposed to change.
  17. A church is an association.
  18. Each church has different inside rules.
  19. How can we check if a bishop really descends from an apostle (and why is such thing needed anyway)?
  20. Your choice of church won’t save you, so pick whichever you think is okay (or none at all).
  21. You have more chances of being saved by reading the Bible at home than attending to church.
  22. You can not exclude from a church (if you are a priest, for example), someone who wouldn’t be excluded from heaven by Jesus.
  23. Christians shouldn’t persecute anyone, but on the contrary: Jesus said that Christians would be persecuted themselves.
  24. Just like state should care about the person’s material well-being, the church should care about their spiritual well-being, meaning that a church shouldn’t impose any rules that do not have anything to do with that goal.
  25. Don’t punish others, leave punishment for God.
  26. State should treat all people equally, no matter their faith or lack of faith.
  27. If I must love even my enemies, why would I hate someone who did nothing to me (that includes homosexuals and basically all other minorities that aren’t necessarily your enemies)?
  28. People who are related to religious institutions shouldn’t participate in the three political powers (suggest, approve or apply laws).
  29. I shouldn’t punish anyone’s sin.
  30. Christians fight Christians over things of lesser importance.
  31. If no one knows which church is the “correct” one, then my choice isn’t worse than yours.
  32. I’m not obligated to trust anyone in matters of salvation, specially if everyone offers conflicting paths.
  33. State (the president, for example) can’t demand people to follow a specific faith.
  34. If church and state were the same thing, the path for salvation would change according to the current ruler.
  35. It’s silly to think that you are “saving” someone by forcing them to worship.
  36. It’s pointless to follow a religion that you think is false.
  37. A priest shouldn’t impose any behavior on the followers, if such behavior isn’t endorsed by God.
  38. A church can’t demand a behavior that is illegal in that territory.
  39. You can’t have your belongings legitimately taken for religious reasons.
  40. If church and state become one, atheists and followers of other religions would have their freedom, belongings and life put at risk, which isn’t compatible with state’s task of promoting justice.
  41. The fusion between state and church wouldn’t make politicians any more holy.
  42. You can’t force an atheist to believe.
  43. Truth can be discovered alone, but a lie needs to be kept by more than one person at once to continue existing.
  44. If a christian needs to convert others to Christ, they still can not use force to do it.
  45. Life is longer when you live in society.
  46. A majorly christian democratic society won’t contradict church anyway.
  47. If the state passes a law that a christian finds sinful, let the christian rebel and suffer the consequences.
  48. A church can not have legal privileges over other churches or over those who have no faith.
  49. A church that preaches intolerance is more interested in getting followers than working towards salvation of the followers’ souls.
  50. It’s important to have laws to ensure religious tolerance.
  51. No church should receive state funds.
  52. The Gospel doesn’t sanction social exclusion based on religion!
  53. Christians shouldn’t see the existence of other religions as a threat.
  54. Christians give a bad reputation to Christianity.
  55. It’s better to read the Bible at home than attending to church.

Publicado por Yure

Quando eu me formei, minha turma teve que fazer um juramento coletivo. Como minha religião não me permite jurar nem prometer, eu só mexi os lábios, mas resolvi viver com os objetivos do juramento em mente de qualquer forma.

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