David Hayward’s latest cartoon illustrates an important point about interreligious dialogue, as well as about cross-cultural interactions. It is easy to see the oddness in the beliefs and customs of another, and very difficult to see how equally odd our own seem to others. Decking a status with flowers may seem bizarre and pagan, while pulling a dead tree (or stranger still, an imitation of a dead tree) into one’s house and decking it with garlands seems perfectly normal.
I believe that the Golden Rule should guide interreligious dialogue for Christians. Treat others’ religion and customs the way you would like them to treat yours. And conversely, why not start by examining your own religion the way you might hope that people of other religions would examine theirs?