Jan Van Quirm wrote:True christians, following the guidance of Jesus (not the Old Testamant because his teaching contradict that in too many ways - an eye for an eye does not equate with love thy neighbour after all), must practice tolerance and understanding towards others. That is not at odds with how most reasonable, decent people want to live their lives, regardless of whether they are committed to a faith of any kind, is it?
Don't want to get all semantical on you, but Jesus' Golden Rule originated in the Old Testament, and Jesus doesn't expouse the "Love Thy Neighbor" philosophy in Mark, which is commonly acknowledged as the earliest gospel. These ideas weren't expressed until Luke and Matthew, which were written much later. Some scholars believe that Paul was the "inventor" of the concept of Christian love, as he mentions about loving thy neighbors as well as and enemies many times in his epistles, but never once attributes these ideas to any sayings of Jesus. This doesn't mean that Jesus didn't say these things, or that Paul didn't get these ideas from the oral traditions he had heard about Jesus, but it does seem odd that Paul failed to attribute to Jesus one of the man's most important innovations, or that Mark failed to mention them either, given how game-changing this whole idea was.
For this reason, some scholars believe that the writers of Matt, Luke and John incorporated the "Christian love" ideas from Paul's letters and attributed them to Jesus.
It doesn't mean that these aren't splendid ideas that everyone, Christian or not, should follow. Nor does it negate the fact the there is a great deal of God-inspired nastiness in the Old Testament (as well as there are many laws requiring people to be kind and charitable to others in need).