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Lesson 19 ~ Religious Philosophy ~ Ecclesiasticism ~ Essay
By: Rev. Trent Murman, OSM, OSF
Cao Dai is the eclectic Vietnamese faith that has shamelessly "borrowed" from other faiths in an attempt to create a faith that is universally unifying. Do you think that selecting rituals from multiple faiths and then merging them together provides a stronger faith than those from which you borrow? Or, do you believe that this dilutes and diminishes the value of the original faith? I believe that this is an attempt to open their doors to many peoples to join the Vietnamese Cao Dai.  This may also bring religion to many Vietnamese that may not otherwise be able to participate in a religious services and in my opinion this does not dilute or diminish any part of the original faith, in fact it may bring it even stronger to those peoples that can recognize parts of their faith in a combined unifying faith.  The Ainu are so socially attuned that they greet strangers with Irankarapte, meaning "let me softly touch your heart". What do you think of this? Are they a sensitive, caring, socially tolerant people? Or, do you think that this is insincere and phony? If it is legitimate, why do you suppose that the dominant Japanese culture has treated them so poorly (the official government position is that they are "noble savages")? I believe they are truly sensitive peoples and are in good position to minister in a sincere way to reach all persons of this particular Japanese culture.  We must also divulge whether the Japanese culture separates government from religion.  Maybe this is why they feel they have no control or are losing control over the religious masses.  I believe the Japanese culture is a very strict one and may have very little tolerance for those that may have opposing views as have participated acts that have occurred in the past when people went against the government.  Just an opinion of mine. 
Go In Peace

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