With regards to the recent incident whereby a Church pastor got into hot soup for his insulting remarks on other religions, I wonder why did not someone from his own congregation feedback to him on his unbecoming behaviour. It takes only common sense to tell that he is mocking other religions which is obvious through his facial expression and tone of voice.
It is irresponsible of those in leadership position who has shallow knowledge of other religion to speak on it with 'authority', distorting its teaching and misleading his congregation. Those who listen to him and condone his behaviour are also guilty of being socially irresponsible.
He is not the first religious leader I came across who mislead his congregation with distortion of 'facts'. Some months back there is this report of some religion heads saying that practising Yoga is not in line with their religious faith. In current context, Yoga is purely a form of exercise without any religious practices link to it.
I have a friend who learned Chinese martial art since young. He took up TaiChi in later years and then gave it up because his church pastor told him TaiChi has linked to other religious belief. I have done both Yoga (for 2 years) and TaiChi (for more than 10 years) and not once has any instructor spoke to me on religious matter nor have I come across them being link to any form of religious practices. They are solely a form of exercise.
Perhaps their history of origin may have religious link, but that is in the past. Do these religious leaders ever check their facts and find out more before addressing their congregation ? Likely since they are suppose to be the 'authority' on religious matter, folks in their congregation never question them and just accept what they say as a matter of fact.
It is exactly such unquestioning behaviour that led to the abuse of power of those in leadership positions which resulted in the downfall of a few big multi-national companies in US some years back, due to discrepancies in financial accounting. So now companies and the government encourage whistle blowers as part of a company's internal self check & monitor system for good management practices.
Even for local companies where safety management is concern, we have been advocating self check and monitoring to promote and encourage good safety practices. This is done through peer influence so that unsafe acts and behaviour do not go unchallenged.
Taking the example from good salesmanship, a professional sales person would not speak ill of competitors' product, when promoting his own. All the more so for people in leadership position to act responsibly and not trivialize other religions nor distort facts of Yoga, TaiChi....etc while doing 'self promotion'.
It would be best that religious groups have their own self check and monitoring system, without the need of external party such as the government having to intervene. Thus, members in the congregation should feedback and speak up if their religious leader or members in their group overstep their boundary. In fact, a socially responsible religious leader should actively encourage inter-religion harmony via self check system through open feedback.