I do not claim to know what would end all war but I have a hunch about a few things that may help along the way. We need a secular approach to education worldwide. To be secular does not imply leaving one’s religion behind. Not at all! It implies a willingness to represent your views all the while granting equal decency, dare I say love and respect to people with differing beliefs. A secular approach learns from the past and embraces all of the best that our modern situation can offer.

To be secular is the recognition that peace does not come through solely seeking to advance one’s own religion, peace comes through embracing diversity and granting an equal voice to those of opposing viewpoints. The battle for the truth is sought through intelligent discussion, research and debate as well as bridging every area where mutual agreement is found.

It is this mutual agreement, this common goal, this profound respect for protecting the right of all people to think freely that people of opposing viewpoints can fall back on. Bad ideas and actions that sometimes self identify as being either religious or nonreligious can then be condemned mutually by all sides. We recognize the ideas and actions that poison the well.

Allow me to give a few examples: Humanity can mutually recognize that hating and/or killing people of another race, religion, or sexual orientation is flat out wrong. It is always wrong and will never be right. Humanity can mutually recognize that man made systems of Theocracy will always fail. This form of government will become inherently divisive in the hands of human beings that claim to represent the will of God for all. Whether one adheres to a religion or not it is in everyone’s best interest to never claim to know the mind of God on such matters.

At the end of the day I think I can confidently say that if I truly love my fellow neighbors. If I truly value the diversity that makes us human. If I hold firm to granting everyone equal dignity and freedom to think for themselves then peace and friendship is within reach.

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