How do we view other religions?
“Religion” comes from the Latin word re-ligare––meaning to rebond or to tie––so to rebond ourselves to God. Since this is the purpose of every religious body, should it matter how one goes about it? Since every person is different, would it not be better to pave a path to Kami that suits each person? Too many times, we get caught up in what we believe so thoroughly, that we become blind and cannot see that what is right for us may not suit another. Medication curing cancer in one patient may actually harm another. It would be easy if one way worked for all, but just as one medication cannot suit all patients of an illness, one path to Kami will not suffice either.
Not realizing the role of religion, people degrade each other, countless wars are fought, and countless lives suffer and are lost, because each of us insists that our religion is the only true one. It is hard to believe that this is what Kami wanted from religion. How can people re-bond to Kami with so much fear, hate, anger, and blind arrogance pushing them away from Kami? Our Founder said, “Though people say that they do not kill others, they do so with their hearts. This is a grave offense. They think killing someone means to shoot with a gun or to stab with a sword, but this is only physical, and the obvious. People often kill with their hearts,an offense invisible to the eye. Kami’s heart cannot bear such offenses.When one kills physically, the government punishes. When one kills with his heart, Kami punishes” (GII: Sato Mitsujiro, 27:1-2). This teaching tells us to not only suppress the physical impulse to harm, but to also rid ourselves of the negative, hateful emotions that we direct toward others. It is unfortunate that we are usually concerned only about our physical actions, while we neglect the condition of our hearts and minds. We must develop a broad and compassionate heart that loves and cares for all others.
In working for greater understanding among people, Konkokyo respects all religions.We realize that religions must work together as the leaders of the world––take down our walls, embrace our differences, and learn from each other––in order to fulfill people’s needs.