I have been in many interfaith groups over the years. Typically, such gatherings consist of learning each other’s history, sitting in each other’s worship and having times of fellowship. These are noble efforts, but I do not believe they will bring lasting unity among the religions so long as each faith carries the seeds of discord within its own self-definition. This is a problem no interfaith group would mention, much less address. Allow me to name the heresy:

So long each religion refuses to renounce the idea that it’s leader is the only true guide,

So long as each religion refuses to renounce that idea that they are God’s only chosen people.

So long as each religion believes that God has given them an actual tract of land,

So long as each religion believes their scriptures are to be taken literally, thus overriding human reason, and trumping the needs of the common good,

So long as these factors remain in place, we can have all the interfaith picnics and worships we want, but will still carry daggers in our hearts and will pass them on to our children. The roots of religious intolerance do not lie in hatred, nor even in ignorance, but in our claims of special privilege over one another.