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A Short Lesson in Tolerance

A SHORT LESSON IN TOLERANCE

Ralph Parks is currently employed as a teacher at Wailalak University in Thailand. He has studied both Eastern and Westem mysteries for over 30 years, induding Westem Kabbalah, Sikhism, Spiritualism, and subtle body work. He is the Sword Bearer for the Knights Templar of Japan (Not the Masonic KT)

On April 14, 1996, Japan was visited by His Grace, Archbishop Lufti Laham, Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem. He was here at the invitation of the Knights of the Temple of Jerusalem, the Grand Priory of Japan. This is the first time anyone of his stature from his church has visited Japan, and the members of the order considered it a great honor.

After other conversations and having prepared myself, I said, '€œSir, I have a question I must ask. Where do you stand on homosexuality?'€

'€œAre you a Christian?'€ was his reply. Continuing, he said '€œIf you mean by that, do I believe in the principles of love, compassion, and understanding put forward in the teachings of Jesus?, the answer is yes. If you mean, do I believe Christ is the one way, the only way, and that those who do not know of or believe in Christ do not have continuity of life after death?, the answer is no. I believe paths are many, truth is one, and all religions lead to God. Some just take longer and require more trips through life.

I live in Jerusalem. It is the center of the world. It is a land of Arabs who are Muslims, Arabs who are Jews, Arabs who are Christians, and people from all over the world. I am a Christian. One of about 130,000 among millions. This is my faith. I am lucky. I know this, so I don'€™t have to explain my answer to the question as you do. This is my path and I choose to live it. The only reason to be different from others is to be of service to others. I run a hospital and a school, not for Christians, but for those who need a hospital and a school. I try to keep Christians in the Holy Land so we can be of service to those who live there. Religion does not belong to us, we belong to it. That is why I am a Christian. That is why I serve. And that is why it is not for me to judge the path of others. I live my path and others must live theirs.

I am not a homosexual. It is not my path. But I do not judge the path of others. My faith is to serve.'€

Sometimes to stand in the shadow is to stand in the light.'€”Ralph Parks
From the Summer 1997 / Gnosis Magazine
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