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Respect and tolerance key in royal Christmas message

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE – Queen Beatrix used her traditional and widely-watched Christmas message to call on the Dutch public to show respect for one another. Treat your neighbour the way you want to be treated yourself. She acknowledged that dialoguing with others over one’s beliefs may generate tension but that it should be kept in mind that others also have their opinions. Clashing beliefs create tension but that open discussion and debate should not be avoided. In discussions, nobody may dictate their opinions to others. Tolerance starts with the admission that the truth of one person never can be the truth for everyone. Religious freedom may not be used to offend others or to promote hatred. A right to insult does not exist, according to the monarch. Those who ridicule others, undermine their own credibility.