Lama Chuck Stanford, Rime Buddhist Center: It is true that the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, was born into a royal family that practiced and studied the Vedic tradition (Hindu is a modern term). This is no different than the fact that Jesus was raised in the Jewish faith.
The Rev. Duke Tufty, Unity Temple On the Plaza: I believe the image of God put forth in religious books is a fabrication from the mind of man. A wise old man with long hair and beard sitting on a throne somewhere in the far off reaches of the clouds is quite a compelling image.
The Rev. Holly McKissick, Peace Christian Church UCC, Kansas City, Mo.: “You can’t forgive?”
Mohamed Kohia, Rockhurst University professor: No Muslim is considered a Muslim unless he believes in Jesus.
The Rev. Perry Sukstorf, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Kansas City, Mo.: While the term Protestant has had many different meanings, connotations and definitions over the years, this question of the saints, specifically the acts of venerating and praying to them, was one of the touchstones that sparked the Reformation of the 1500s.
The Rev. Paul Rock, Second Presbyterian Church, Kansas City, Mo.: I know I’m a pastor, but when it comes down to it, I’m basically a Christmas, Easter and Pentecost guy, especially when it comes to the subject of God’s revelation.
Rabbi Avi Weinstein, Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, Overland Park, Kan.: In Jewish tradition, King Solomon is the author of Ecclesiastes, and nobody’s wisdom is more heralded than that of Solomon.
The Rev. Scott Gordon, Claycomo Baptist Church, Kansas City, Mo:
Arvind Khetia, engineer: In Hinduism, God is not seen as the one handing out reward or punishment. However, there is a recognition of the universal law of karma, also known as the doctrine of justice.
The Rev. Eugene Curry, senior pastor, Park Hill Baptist Church, Kansas City, Mo.: Translating animal names in ancient documents is notoriously tricky because the specific identity of the things mentioned can’t always be deduced from context alone. The “cockatrice” of the Old Testament is a great example of this.
A.M. Bhattacharyya, Hindu adviser of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council: Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means “union,” by extension “union with God.”
Father Joe Nassal, Missionaries of the Precious Blood in Liberty, Mo.: Most biblical scholars suggest the prohibition in the book of Leviticus, “You shall not … print any marks upon you,” has more to do with ceremonial markings the Canaanites used as a sign of mourning than with morality.