Beliefs can kill. As long as people believe different is bad people will continue to try to destroy each other for being different. How do we learn to be accepting of differences? My experience is the same intolerance continues with just a different perspective.
I attend a small, very liberal church--a church that prides itself on how liberal it is and how accepting it is. This church welcomes gays, lesbians, openly promotes gay marriage, open to all races, religions, etc. Yet some have a real problem with the choir occasionally singing an anthem from a particular religious perspective and others that we do not. Others have difficulty with the church doing outreach work with the local national guard because they do not want to support anything having to do with war. I do not intend for this to be a religious discussion. I am only offering an example of a spiritual gathering that is as liberal and create your own theology oriented as I can imagine falling into the same old pattern of thinking. How do we learn to be accepting of each other without being threatened?
The Matthew Shepherd horror is exactly what causes me ask this question. The only answer I can come up with is to practice what I preach in my daily life. I don't exactly pray, but I do ask for the wisdom and courage to live my beliefs without it being at the expense of others.