October 18, 2013
Chaplain's Corner"Whoever does not love does not know God, for God IS Love" (1 John 4:8).
This past week a swastika was drawn on a student's door. Such acts must stand condemned for the ignorance, hatred and prejudice carried so forcefully in this symbol. And all of us, Jew, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, need to stand in solidarity against the use of this symbol.
The major religious traditions in our world hold in common that the ultimate reality of our universe is loving, caring and compassionate.
Whether or not this specific act was religiously motivated, we all know we live in a world in which people's deepest faith is often hijacked by hatred and violence to justify treating others as less than human.
People judging other people because of their faith, or their lack of faith, happens in our world, our state, our town and on our campus.
When one's own faith is used to justify the judging, we inflict damaging pain on another person, beating that person down into submission. Then we stand self-righteously over that person claiming that God has blessed our hatred. This needs to be called.
God is love. God is not hatred, violence, prejudice or condemnation.Love expresses empathy, sympathy and care for people who are different. Love is brave enough not to be threatened by a different faith and will react with "how can I understand and embrace that" rather than "how can I prove that person's way of thinking wrong." Love does not seek its own good, but the good of the other. Love is not self-absorbed, but self-giving.
To betray my age, Jackie DeShannon said it well in the 60s pop classic: "What the world needs now is love, sweet love. That's the only thing that there's just too little of. ." And nobody can do better than a 60s song. (No favoritism, just fact.)
Young people, old people, black people, white people, Muslims, Jews and Christians, atheists, agnostics and plain old seculars, "let us love one another."
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