Religious Belief
 
Let's take a look at religious belief.  Every society that we know of has had a spiritual orientation.  Most every culture has such beliefs, and the individuals in the societies believe in them honestly.

People born in India almost always grow up to be Hindu.  Those born in Tibet almost always become Buddhist.  People born in Tel Aviv grow up Jewish, and those in Iran become Muslim.  But remember that had they been born in Persia around 500 A.D., they would have believed in Zarathustra, not Mohammed. 

People born in Italy usually become Roman Catholic, and those in Greece become Greek Orthodox.  but if they had been born in Greece 3,000 years ago, they would have believed in Zeus.  And in Rome 3000 years ago, people believed in Jupiter.

In Central America and Mexico, a person born in 1400 AD would have believed in The Aztec gods, but today they are Catholics.  Could that be because the Spaniards who over-ran their country were Catholic?

In the United States, there is more variation, but similar patterns occur.  In the south, there is a strong likelihood of children growing up in a fundamentalist church.  Those born in Utah are much more likely to belong to the Mormon Church than someone born in a small town in Georgia.

Looking at these patterns of belief, we must conclude that the religion you believe in is the result of your time and  place of birth.  Had you been born in a different part of the world, you would likely have different beliefs.

No matter where a person is born, and hence the religion they believe in, they believe their religion is the true one, and they live their lives by its precepts.  Thus, in India, when her husband dies, the wife will throw herself on the funeral pyre and be burned alive.  She does this of her own free will.

In Muslim countries, women who themselves have suffered “female circumcision”, will have their daughters similarly mutilated.  Jews will have their sons circumcised without anesthesia.  Mormon doctrine still supports polygamy, though it is not part of the official policy.

The doctrine of many Christian churches supports the idea of war, even though Jesus spoke of forgiveness and compassion.  [Matthew 5:9: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God."] 

Perhaps there is room for us to be tolerant of those who have different beliefs than we do, since it is just the accident of our time of birth and our place of birth that gives us our “righteous” beliefs.
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