Simply stated; religious pluralism refers to the (supposed) acceptance of various religions. It is the (supposed) acceptance of the validity of various theologies.
But why the “(supposed)” statements?
Consider the following statement:
The Rev. Ron Hersom will be welcomed…as the new minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville… Hersom was the 2004 scholar at the Tsubaki Grand Shrine in Mie Prefecture, Japan where he studied Shinto, the national religion. A Unitarian Universalist for 20 years, his experiences in Japan as the 2004 Tsubaki Grand Shrine scholar, he says, deepened his commitment to pluralism and his belief that no one faith or tradition has the answer — they all do…
Ordained in 2007 into the Unitarian Universalist ministry by First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque, N.M….He then stayed as the assistant minister in Albuquerque until his call to the Jacksonville Church.
The key is the statement about “his commitment to pluralism and his belief that no one faith or tradition has the answer — they all do.”
That “no one faith or tradition has the answer” implies that there is an unstated question and that either there is one answer which all religions have or that there are various answers which is why all religions have it.
Now, here is the issue and it is the same issue as with the popular versions of syncretism, relativism, inclusivism and pluralism of all sorts and kinds: the fact is that we are all exclusivists. This is very simply proved: if you disagree with the statement “we are all exclusivists” then you have just proved the point as you have excluded the statement from the realm of truth.
What if my religion claims that only one faith or tradition has the answer? Then my religion would be wrong and thus would end the great pluralism experiment—if, that is, pluralists were logically consistent which, by definition, they cannot be.
Consider this: all religions do not claim that all religions have the answer. All claim to have the answer. All claim some sort of exclusivity; or else they would not be distinct religions.
Now, Ron Hersom claims that all religions do have the answer. In making this claim he is affirming that he is right in this view and anyone who disagrees is wrong. Thus, he is an exclusivist.
In short and in all actuality Ron Hersom may have a point as all religions are and believe the same things. Oh, yeah, they only differ on minor side issues such as origins, the nature of God, sin, salvation, end times and our eternal destiny—other than that, they are all the same :o)
To learn more about Unitarian Universalism, please see this link.
 “Jacksonville Unitarians welcoming new minister,” St. Augustine Record, August 12, 2010, copyright 2010 St. Augustine Record. All rights reserved