Separation of Religion or Belief and State




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Issue:  Tolerance for Diversity of Religion or Belief


For: United Nations, Governments, Religions or Beliefs, Academia, NGOs, Media, Civil Society


Review: The Whole Earth Catalog: The Prequel, Ken Johnson, Art Review, New York Times: 1 January 2010.


Excerpts: “While the Eastern side displays many captivating works of painting, sculpture and drawing representing Hindu, Buddhist and Jainist perspectives in sensuous detail, the European ideas are mostly in the form of printed illustrations in antique books, with astronomical photographs of the heavens taken by the Hubble space telescope and other high-tech machines representing current knowledge of the universe.


There is no reason the West’s picture of the universe cannot inspire great art, but it is not likely to precipitate the visual and metaphorical extravagance that the East’s does. There is no comparison between a garishly colorful digital abstraction representing the Big Bang theory and ‘Vishnu Sleeping on the Cosmic Ocean,’ an 11th century sandstone sculpture representing the Creation.


But while Eastern cosmologists envision the enchanted inner world of mental experience, Westerners map the disenchanted outer realm of material reality. Only a wedding of the two perspectives- a marriage of the yin and the yang-is ever likely to yield a complete picture of the cosmos.”


1981 UN Declaration: Considering  that religion or belief, for anyone who professes either, is one of the fundamental elements in his conception of life and that freedom of religion or belief should be fully respected and guaranteed,


For the purposes of the present Declaration, the expression ‘intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief’ means any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference based on religion or belief and having as its purpose or as its effect nullification or impairment of the recognition, enjoyment or exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis.


All States shall take effective measures to prevent and eliminate discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief in the recognition, exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms in all fields of civil, economic, political, social and cultural life.


Attachments: Western Science & Eastern Religion; Joy of Physics Isn’t in the Results, but in the Search Itself