Are we living in a world of “excuse me” Christianity? (Follow-up)

Posted on August 16, 2008. Filed under: Personal Growth and Freedom |

In the spirit of the very openness to which I profess to support, I am pleased to provide you with the response I received from INSE Founder and Chairman Christophe Poizat regarding my original post “Are we living in a world of excuse me Christianity?”  I will of course share my response at the conclusion of Mr. Poizat’s commentary.



Jon, I am not sure you are getting the point here, let me put it this way; INSE is a place where our main topics of discussion are social entrepreneurship and sustainability.  INSE is not a place where we discuss religious or political matters.  It has been said before and the Terms of Service are now updated to reflect it; there are other forums on the internet where you can have those discussions.


It is not coming out of a lack of respect for a religion in particular, it is coming out of respect for people with different sensibilities.  Knowing how much religion has brought a great divide between people over the ages, I have made the decision to leave religion out of the debate and I stand firmly by my decision; by the way, the same applies to politics.  It doesn’t mean I have no respect for politics, it means I deliberately choose not to include politics in the debate in order to avoid the traditional clivage between political camps.  


It is my way of drawing people’s attention to the fact that we are all facing the same issues threatening the stability of our world and whether we are Democrat, Republican, apolitical, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu (to name the major religions) or Agnostic, we’d better UNITE and get busy fixing these global issues sooner than later . . .


It doesn’t mean I don’t respect your religion or any other religion for that matter.  I think I clearly stated my position in my previous message and during an interview with my friend Dave Charbonneau from Prosperity Networks.  I think I have clearly expressed my tolerance for the many possibilities and variations when it comes to faith and religion.


That being said, I will continue to be vigilant and not let anybody “hijack” the forum and debate issues that do not belong here; by becoming a member, you have agreed to respect the Terms of Service (TOS), if you do not agree with INSE’s TOS, you are free to leave.  As I’ve done from the inception of INSE, I shall continue to enforce our TOS rigorously.


And to conclude, when you say “the practice of intolerable tolerance means that we must somehow apologize if we move beyond the confines of a sheepish, there is a proper time and place to profess one’s faith mentality,” is it really that intolerable to you that not everybody thinks the way you do and believe in the same things you do?


What about your “(whose moniker ironically is Fostering Connections to Pursue Business Endeavors with Social and Environmental Benefits),” what is so ironical about it?  What do other members think?




INSE Founder and Chairman


I of course believe that true (and sustainable) social change cannot be accomplished without contemplating the impact from religious, political or for that matter from any consideration which shapes the lens through which one views the world.  To do so creates an incomplete and somewhat distorted picture of reality, reducing the exercise of positive social change to one of an anaesthesized process reflecting an ambivalent outcome which can neither be enthusiastically embraced nor roundly rejected.  In essence, creating a zone of inconsequential neutrality. 


This is not a question as Chritophe erroneously proffered that centers around a concern that others do not think and believe in the same things that I do.  Nor did my commentary intimate such a position.


What I was saying is that tolerance is best exemplified in an environment that fosters the free and open exchange of ideals and ideas whether they be religious, political or financial in their origins.


And it is in this spirit that I will share my response.




The fact remains that like it or not, social and environmental issues do entail to a degree both political as well as religious considerations especially in terms of globalization.  To ignore their influence in an increasingly diverse and evolving international network makes no sense.


Yes I am a Christian.  But as stated, my issue with your post did not evolve around the doctrine presented by the Chaplain (re an issue of belief), but the fact that it had been deemed inappropriate when he publicly expressed them as a means of guiding his thinking and conduct in terms of how he viewed the challenges of a complex world.  Would he have encountered the same response if the lens through which he viewed the situation were economically based?  How about from a legislative standpoint?


When you establish a mandate in which you profess to want to change the world for the better, should this not involve all individuals who are within the world regardless of what their affiliations, belief system or personal opinions might be?  Quite frankly, I would rather know the true motivation behind a collaborative partner’s position rather than artificially create a hermetically sealed environment where true thoughts are sanitized or hidden under the “we just want to get along banner.”  (Added note: honest and meaningful debate can and does involve honest disagreement.)


For example, I may not be Muslim but I would not be offended if an individual presented his ideas based upon his personal belief system centered on the Qur’an.  Now if he tried to impose his belief system on me, then I might very well take issue.  But the Chaplain did not do that.  He merely laid his cards on the proverbial table and offered to share his “reference material” with other members of the group.  They of course had the freedom to accept or decline his offer.  (Added note: the expression of one’s belief is not the same as the imposition of one’s belief.)


I of course would read the material partly because I am a Christian, but partly because I would want to understand his thought process.  I would take the same approach if he had presented Jim Collins’ book Good to Great or Aldus Huxley’s book Brave New World.  The latter two publications I would imagine would not have produced the same response.  And that is entirely my point.


Religion, like politics, finance and the law are very real factors of influence in our global community.  Acknowledging, understanding and accepting this tenet opens up greater possibilities for a real and sustainable social change.


(Next Post: Part 2 – Jonathan’s Acceptance of Divine Direction)




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