President Obama recently cautioned Americans not to categorize the struggle with terrorism as “a war between America and Islam.” He was talking sense and good policy.
I have dedicated my adult life (40 years and counting) to religion as a Unitarian Universalist minister and have sought to understand what is “religion” and what is moral and good. There can be and often is a difference between the label and the activity.
Hate and violence in the name of Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, or whomever is not Judaism, Christianity, Islam, or Whatism. It is hate and violence, pure and simple, and doesn’t need an adjective! “God made me do it!” is a delusion and a coward’s denial of personal responsibility, which every great teacher of faith stressed. The individual commits the act.
The opposite is also true: the individual seeks understanding and to live peacefully with others. Commendable religion may teach it but people actualize those teachings. No one can survive alone. Life is an interdependent wonder and requires cooperation. Peacemakers are those who understand and honor that truth. They do it through compassion and courage.
Rev. Doak M. Mansfield, Community Unitarian Universalist Church, Pasco