“How is it that people kill in the name of the God of life, wage war in the name of the God of peace, hate in the name of the God of love and practice cruelty in the name of the God of compassion? How if we are the image of God, do we so often harm the work of God, especially, our fellow humans?” (Sacks, Jonathan, 2015 Not in God’s Name Schocken Kabobs, NY p110 ebook)
Now the above quote might seem unrelated to last Tuesday’s post about women and gays fighting for respect in their religions of birth, but I think not. Before I get into that though, let me first, thank everyone who shared by writing a comment on the Blog or Facebook. Evidently this is an issue for more than just me and Chelsea Shields.
Thank you Gail for your comment “Dan take a look at America Magazine September 14 issue …Religion and Diplomacy by Sec of State. John Kerry…”. I followed your advice and what struck me was Secretary of State Kerry pointing out:
“One of the most interesting challenges we face in global diplomacy today is the need to fully understand and engage the great impact that a wide range of religious traditions have on foreign affairs.”
Evidently the Secretary of State of the United States is concerned about religion’s role in world affairs. And on Facebook, I mentioned Karen L’s conflict in last Thursday’s post. I was moved too by Neil R’s sharing : “Agree Dan and Francis does have me considering maybe coming home.” I’m inspired and I suspect many others are as well who read your shares. Karen and Neil are concerned.
David Brooks and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks are also concerned. David Brooks’ wrote an OP-ED column last Tuesday in the New York Times concerning Rabbi Jonathan Sacks book, “Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence,” In his column he writes:
The great religions are based on love, and they satisfy the human need for community. But love is problematic. Love is preferential and particular. Love excludes and can create rivalries. Love of one scripture can make it hard to enter sympathetically into the minds of those who embrace another.The 21st century will not be a century of secularism, he writes. It will be an age of desecularization and religious conflicts.” (Brooks, David, 11-17-15 NYT Oped, Finding Peace within the Holy Texts)
What is Brooks talking about “desecularization” and religious conflicts? I’m still reading his book and looking for that answer, but in the meantime, I think our discussion last week points to a very important work we are about, honest sharing. We truly can be partners in this coming day of desecularization, if we are willing to speak up and are listened to and more importantly heard. I think, as Neil suggests, Pope Francis is listening and I don’t think he’s the only one.
This is what we are attempting to do with the CPP Blog (Our weekly meeting in print). Sharing can lead to doing. As Jean S pointed out, “Some people are doers…”. What besides speaking up can we, people of all religious faiths do? More on that for next Tuesday.