Religion and the responsibility to love

One of the great impositions on the citizens of the world is that religion has been the source of much evil—the disaster of the Crusades, the Inquisition, current attacks on Muslims in Nigeria, attacks on Christians in India. When acts of violence or terrorism are committed in the name of religion, people of faith have the opportunity to rise up against them through prayer that embraces mankind in love. It’s so important to see that atrocities are not due to the practice of true religion but to some of the worst elements of human thought, masquerading as religion.

Religions, by their very nature, make claims about absolute truth. But a key question is how the practitioners of a religion apply its truth to human experience. Do they deduce from that truth that they have the duty to impose some teaching on another? Or does their understanding of that absolute truth increase their own spirituality, perfecting their spiritual practice and commitment to help heal the world’s suffering? 

All on this globe together
July 18, 2011

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