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Pope Francis embraces his Jewish Rabbi (Abraham Skorka) and Muslim Iman (Omar Abboud) friends at the Western ‘wailing’ wall of Jerusalem.
This is the way it should be. Do these guys really feel this way? Was it all for the cameras? Truthfully, I don’t know, but I choose not be cynical about this event. I choose to view it as a lesson to us all and a reminder that we can live together. It would have been nice if someone like the Dollie Llama could have been there also, but this is a start.
Religion is a deeply personal thing. To tell someone that their religion is not the true path is as horrible and insulting as saying their children are ugly and they will never amount to anything. Most people grew up in communities that supported one religion. Many still live in those communities. From that prospective it is obvious what the right path is. They don’t realize there are many other communities where people grow up believing the same thing, but it is not about same religion.
Like anything else familiar, people feel comfortable with people of their own religion and uncomfortable with people they know do not believe as they do. It is the easy way to decide to avoid anyone that doesn’t believe as you do. It is also easy to decide that it would be better if the entire country believed as you do. That would make it more comfortable but it wouldn’t make right.
People say that the United States was founded as a Christian country. Well it wasn’t. It was founded on the principle of religious freedom. The reason religious freedom was so important was because the original colonies started as havens of religious fanatics that were all but thrown out of England. The Church of England could not put up with the staunch conservatism of the Puritans and they were very happy to ship them to the New World.
Of course at the time they didn’t realize that they were not just talking about freedom for the various Christian sects. Just like, at the time, they advocated all men were created equal, but then they didn’t consider Africans, Native Americans, or Asians men, at least not the same kind of man that they were. Our founding fathers gave us the cornerstone of democracy and we improved on it through our history. Of course white Christians think they would be happy to return to the ideas of two hundred years ago, but they wouldn’t. Remember, Germans, Poles, Italians, Irish, and most other nationalities were not all that welcome in America at that time.
If you really believe in Christianity, you must believe in Judgment Day. If you do then you know that anyone that has sinned against God will pay for it on Judgment Day. Every single person will have to justify their life at that moment. Doesn’t it follow that God is taking care of the heretics and the non-believers and he doesn’t need help. It’s okay for a Jewish person or a Muslim to fight and die for America, but the shouldn’t consider themselves a full citizen because they are not Christian, is that what you want to tell these veterans, is that what you want to tell the families of non-Christians who lost a loved one in battle? If you don’t believe how many non-Christians have died for this country, go to Arlington Cemetery and see how many graves do not have crosses on them. No, the United States of America is, by law and by morality, for all of its people.