Faithful and respectful

Paradox of pluralism

Three years ago, on the very first broadcast of Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, the PBS program I host, we did a feature on a stretch of road outside Washington, D.C., that has been nicknamed the “Highway of Heaven.” Side by side, block after block, is an amazing variety of new places of worship for Vietnamese Catholics, Korean Presbyterians, Cambodian Buddhists, Ukrainian Orthodox, Spanish Seventh-day Adventists, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and, tucked away among all the newcomers, American Episcopalians too.

We had reported the location of all these new structures; still, viewers called and wrote asking, “Where is this Highway to Heaven? What country is it in?” We answered, “It is in the United States of America, just outside the nation’s capital,” and we could have added that there are highways like this now in almost every major American city.


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