There can be no peace among nations
without peace among the religions.
I read a review of a new memoir by a young woman who had been a member of the unaffiliated Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas. They are not affiliated with any Baptist group—in fact they have been denounced as a hate group.
The Westboro Baptist Church spews hate against a fair number of people. Their rhetoric against gay people is despicable and their picketing at funerals defies any sense of decency.
This is a small group that spends its time picketing. They consider themselves Christian, yet there is nothing about the group that appears Christian.
While different religious groups need to find a way to respect one another the problem of different sects within a religion may be more insidious to peace —or at least as dangerous.
Muslim fights against Muslim. The Shiites and the Sunnis have differing beliefs about who should be leading the Islamic community. The result—bitter fighting, wars.
Haredi Jews in Israel, sometimes called “ultra- orthodox”, regulate who can be legally married in a Jewish ceremony in Israel. They don’t recognize Conservative and reform Jews.
The desire to hold onto our particular beliefs often makes us demonize the beliefs of others, or scoff at them, or engage in actual warfare.
Fanatics live in every religion. People who insist that their way is the only way. I recall going to a service years ago and the sermon was —one way, only one way to reach God, one way.
This is my path—but there are many paths. This one fits. Why do so many people need to denigrate the other? Is it insecurity?
I think it’s hard to release the notion of one way.