Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs.
The price of the democratic way of life is a growing appreciation of people’s differences, not merely as tolerable, but as the essence of a rich and rewarding human experience.
America has believed that in differentiation, not in uniformity, lies the path of progress. It acted on this belief; it has advanced human happiness, and it has prospered.
The fact that astronomies change while the stars abide is a true analogy of every realm of human life and thought, religion not least of all. No existent theology can be a final formulation of spiritual truth. The Living of These Days, 1956
It is the duty of every cultured man or woman to read sympathetically the scriptures of the world. If we are to respect others’ religions as we would have them respect our own, a friendly study of the world’s religions is a sacred duty.
In the matter of religion, people eagerly fasten their eyes on the difference between their own creed and yours; whilst the charm of the study is in finding the agreements and identities in all the religions of humanity.
One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.
One must even beware of too much certainty that the answer to life’s problems can only be found in one way and that all must agree to search for light in the same way and cannot find it in any other way.
When Jesus Christ asked little children to come to him, he didn’t say only rich children, or White children, or children with two-parent families, or children who didn’t have a mental or physical handicap. He said, ‘Let all children come unto me.’
We have all of us, whether rich or poor, whether high or low, of whatever nationality and religious conviction, the same supreme necessities and the same great problem and infinity of love. This old world has rolled on through countless stages and phases of physical progress until it is the home of humanity, and it has, through a process of evolution or growth reached an era of intellectual and spiritual development where there is ‘malice toward none and charity toward all,’ and when, without prejudice, without fear, and in perfect fidelity, we may clasp hands across the chasm of our differences and speed and cheer each other on in the ways of all that is good and true.
People may be said to resemble not the bricks of which a house is built, but the pieces of a picture puzzle, each differing in shape, but matching the rest, and thus bringing out the picture.