Religious freedom important

Published 11:12 am Thursday, February 20, 2014

One of the great things about living in the United States is the many freedoms we are afforded as Americans.

We have the freedom to choose just about every aspect of our lives, including our friends, our voting preferences, whether we want to seek higher education and, arguably one of the most important freedoms, our religion.

Freedom of religion is also a topic that sparks much debate and even unrest among many people.

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An InterFaith Dialogue at Ohio University Southern this week aimed at bringing the community together to discuss the differences, similarities and misconceptions among various religions in hopes of fostering tolerance.

What may be surprising to some, despite those common misconceptions, is that Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism are all religions that promote peace rather than hate.

OUS did a positive thing by hosting the talk, which featured a practitioner of each of those four religions.

All too often, people choose to look to stereotypes rather than seek understanding of the religions of their friends, coworkers or neighbors.

Talks like the one at OUS this week go a long way at changing the preconceived notions that others may have and help to promote peace and tolerance.

We all share this great nation and have the freedom to express ourselves and worship the way we choose. Being respectful of one another can make this world a much better place to live.