The freest nations are the most tolerant nations. The least free nations are the least tolerant, and often church and state are one and the same.

Historically, where there is tolerance freedom will grow and prosper. Freedom does not create tolerance although free people can and do create and strengthen laws to promote tolerance.

By the time the Continental Congress met to create a government for the new United States of America , tolerance had been the practice in the colonies for more that 100 years.

While certainly more tolerance would develop, the colonies offered the most tolerance of any European based nation, although certain counties, such as Yorkshire were also known for their tolerance.

Although tolerance can and is often legislated and upheld by governmental authorities, the kind of tolerance that breeds freedom is attitudinal.

Tolerance is respectful of the rights of others to worship or not as they see fit, even though I think they hold crazy or at least mistaken ideas to be true. In a friendly way, we agree to disagree and support each others right to be “wrong”.

Tolerance is not passive, it means support for another’s right to be mistaken about God. True tolerance sees beyond the surface of theology to the heart of the other person’s spirit or soul.

Lady Liberty by Judy Rey Wasserman

Obviously, not everything that is claimed to be a religious practice will be tolerated by a society. We know human sacrifice was practiced by some religions, yet not state in the free world will allow that practice today as the job of government is to protect its citizens.

For every current major religion we can find places and periods where people who practice the path or religion were tolerant as well as others when they were or are not.

While the constitution of the United States granted religious freedom to all, in many states this was not fully upheld. Not coincidentally the other freedoms of their citizens also were curtailed.

A free market economy and trade is prospers with religious tolerance. If a nation’s citizens and government is wary of any other country that does not agree religiously trade is impeded. Instinctively we want little to do with our enemies, those we believe are against us or could destroy what we hold dear.

In countries where “church” and state there is little freedom, even if supposedly free elections are held; since, what one is to believe is already rigorously limited. Any government that legislates or enforces religious participation and adherence—or atheism, as Communist countries have done, has little faith in its people to recognize what is good and true. This opens the door to dictatorships that will enforce the “correct” religious beliefs upon the people—usually for the betterment of the enforcers.

Tweet Heard ‘Round the World 1,  by Judy Rey Wasserman

The recent fraudulent Iranian election is an example of a religious dictatorship is a good example of a religious leadership enforcing a non tolerant regime to protect religious beliefs, not the people. The ongoing brutality on peaceful protesters by this regime underlines that theology and consequently their own power, not the people governed is what this regime seeks to protect. Church and stare are one.

The majority of wars in modern times have been waged for religious reasons. While governments can be tricky and go to war to gain assets, people will only join in when they believe in a cause. While the world wars may not have seemed to have been waged for religious reasons, the Allies were united in a Judeo-Christian world view and morality, including Russia , which was still populated with people raised in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Tolerance precedes freedom. Freedom precedes peace.

A free people cannot have a lasting or real peace with a nation where there is not religious freedom and tolerance because by the constitution of the other nation only the religion of that nation is fit to endure. All the treaties in the world cannot change that.

As I write this it is “World Peace Day. “ We are asked to pray for peace. This is a giant step in the right direction as all peoples of all faiths are encouraged to pray for peace.

What we need is a World Tolerance Day, when all peoples of all religions pray for religious tolerance. That would send a profound and meaningful message to both governments and clergy, the two most powerful groups in humankind.

If and when the United Nations and world leaders focus on religious tolerance as a basic human right our world will be on the path to both freedom and peace. When killing someone due to their religious beliefs is no longer celebrated but abhorred universally we will have peace and freedom.

Ironically, almost every major religion has prophets who have predicted a time of world peace. Theologically we seem to agree that world peace is possible. How bad can a religion that hopes for world peace be? Perhaps from that basic understanding we can become more tolerant and usher in more freedom and peace.

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Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art at

Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art theory is based at the intersection of ancient spiritual wisdom and cutting-edge contemporary science. It shows us a new and enhanced spiritual and science-based way to see the world. It is a life changing vision that can even become an actual new way of seeing that is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Can this be true? See for yourself.

Check out the Fine Art Limited Edition prints, decorative prints, books, and printables that are currently available to you through Judy Rey’s Art of Seeing The Divine Shop. You don’t have to buy to avail yourself of the art and inspiration available there. However, if you select to collect investment quality archival art, or decorate your home with images created with strokes that are original letters from Bible texts, or buy a gift for someone special, there is a secure shopping cart that accepts most credit cards so your purchase is easy to accomplish.

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