Religious confrontations—meeting the challenge of violence

Recent weeks have seen outbreaks of violence by crowds of angry Muslims against western and particularly American diplomatic posts in Iran, Pakistan, and Libya, and threats of similar violence in other parts of the Middle East and of the world. The causes of these upheavals are complex: nationalism, social and economic dislocations caused by industrialization, and the impact of western technology. Some observers perceive still another force at work—religious confrontation. Moreover, to them, such confrontations presage the beginning of a war of religion.

These are, of course, but modern instances of an ancient theme: the scourge of religious strife. Its dark thread runs through the ages. History's most perverse irony is the frequency and fervor with which people have shed blood to establish their preeminent favor in the eyes of that God who has commanded: "Thou shalt not kill." Ex. 20:13; Today this hatred in the name of love rages on.

It is a limited sense of reality, based on the claim that life and intelligence are in matter, that leads mortals to the belief that the spiritual impulse, that divine gift from God, can be splintered and debased. This limited sense attempts to pattern Deity after its own finite perception: it would have us believe that God is corporeal, changeable, wrathful, and vindictive. However, this finite sense of divinity is untrue, for it does not originate in the consciousness of perfect Mind. Mrs. Eddy has given us this truth of God: "The Christian Science God is universal, eternal, divine Love, which changeth not and causeth no evil, disease, nor death." Science and Health, p. 140;

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Love and politics
January 14, 1980

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