Sunday, March 06, 2005

"Holier Than Thou"

I've heard many commentators, both well-meaning and benign, claim Islam has lost its soul. The great divide between the radical Muslim jihadists and the peaceful doctrine of Muhammad has torn the religion from its principles. To some extent, this seems true to me, but to claim that the whole religion is lost seems inaccurate.

Religion has, since its first inception, always been about choice. That we as human beings could corrupt a divine set of beliefs into self-serving justifications is nothing new. There has always been a question of interpretation when it comes to translating belief into practice. It is up to the devotees to match the practice to the beliefs through discipline, self-awareness, and global understanding.

So, I disagree that Islam has lost its soul. Especially in hearing this from Christian leaders, whose own religion is being hijacked from its founding principles.

How can a Christian advocate war and not peace? How can a Christian reserve church membership for only the "saved" when Christ welcomed all? How can a Christian be against abortion and accept the hypocrisy of the death penalty? How can a Christian advocate support for tyrannical regimes and in the same breath, declare a Christian Crusade against all of these regimes? How can a Christian advocate the laziness of poverty? How can a Christian care more about censorship than making our world a better place?

Where is the soul of Christianity?

I admit it. I am a Christian. I now proudly call myself this, despite the horrors that other Christians inflict in the name of their faith. I probably have more in common with my atheist brethren than in my own faith. I hope that others know that Christ is about inclusion and ignore these "Holier Than Thou" hypocrites, these sickening "Christian soldiers", and realize that we are all human and no matter what your faith is or isn't, we all live on the same planet. Christ's first commandment was to "love thy neighbor as thyself." Not to hate the "other", but to embrace the "other" with the greatest hospitality.

At Christ's table, all should be welcome.


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