Interfaith Dialogue

What exactly are Christianity, Judaism, Atheism and Hinduism? And how do they differ in opinions?


On Oct 24, MORE and CUB hosted an interfaith dialogue to answer such questions.


The first question was: What are five statements that are imperative to your religion?


The Rev. John Cleghorn, pastor Caldwell Presbyterian Church, spoke from a Christian perspective.


1. “Sovereignty of God, which means simply that God is in charge and we are not.”

2. “Believe deeply in grace. …That grace is not cheap grace.”

3. The “response…is in a word, hope [to that] grace.”

4. “Faith is not just one day a week. It forms every day and every aspect of our lives. In a nutshell, that word is ethics.”


Mickey Aberman, who was a board member at Temple Beth El for 21 years, spoke for Judaism.


1. “We believe that there is one god. This differentiates us from Christians because we don’t see that anyone else could be [a human form of God].”

2. There is an “emphasis in Judaism on being good.”

3. “Love others as you would love yourself.”

4. “Judaism is not monolithic…we have a spectrum of observance.”

5. “Technically, there’s no such thing as charity because it’s required; the Hebrew translation of charity is actually ‘righteousness.’”


Shawn Murphy has been an atheist for about seven years and is the current president of Charlotte Atheists and Agnostics.


1. Agnostics “lack knowledge that a god exists.” Atheists have an “absence of a belief in any gods.”

2. “Atheists by and large are moral people. About 6 percent of the American population are atheists. One-fifth of 1 percent of the prison population [are atheists].”

3. “Atheists by and large are very patriotic.”

4. “Atheists experience the gamut of human emotion.”

5. “Atheists are people too. They could be your family members or friends.”


Speaking on Hinduism was Chidaabha Vyas. She came in late and didn’t not get to explain all five, but did get to explain a few things.


1. “People think we are polytheistic. But we are not. We are monotheistic. The other gods and goddesses you see are manifestations of that one god.”

2. “Underneath the umbrella of Hindu, we have Dualist and non-Dualist and ‘kinda Dualist’ and ‘kinda not Dualist.’”

3. “[There is] a big difference between religion and culture.” For instance, “It doesn’t cross the Hindu mind not to give women the rights of men.”

4. “It’s better to die than to live in slavery to someone who was not in the religion.”



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