Why do you think we see lines of division across belief systems? #BeliefDays Why we see lines of division across belief systems is easy to explain. Each religion was formed by a certain culture, during a certain time frame. Back when there was little communication between different cultures, it was easy for a given people to assume the rites and rituals, beliefs and mores they had developed were bringing them to "truth." If they encountered someone from a different culture, their belief system appeared totally "other", and therefore "wrong." If you run up against too many people from other cultures, and too many different belief systems, you begin to feel that your own culture and belief system are being threatened. The threatened position was understandable before we had the communication opportunities we have today. Now with the internet, global communications, and widespread cultural intermixing in our society, open-minded people are bound to begin realizing that the common basis underlying most religions is the same. The differences among the religions represent localized, cultural details, but not substantial discrepancies in the role religion can play in people's lives. These differences add local color and richness, but should not be seen as posing a threat. This concept is easier to understand when we say we follow a certain "tradition", than when we say we believe in a certain religion. Hopefully, Oprah's upcoming BELIEF series will help allay people's fears about what is "other" among the various traditions, and will help steer them toward appreciation of what the traditions have in common.