Recently I was reminded of my chat with a friend, an evangelical Christian whose father, now dead, was a charismatic minister. My friend, a chemical engineer, worked at a high powered nanotech firm when we had the following conversation and I’ve known him for almost twenty years since then.
He subsequently went on to Raytheon, a humongous maker of lethal war products, and I wondered that as a Christian, he didn’t find a contradiction between his faith and his work. After all, Jesus did not believe in the just war theory.
That view came from a Pope, Augustine, around a century later since some Christians were having problems fighting in wars and killing humans, humans made according to them by God. So they didn’t think that it was their right to destroy God’s creations, sons of Adam and daughters of Eve.
In fact, Jesus was very clear that thou shalt not kill nor engage in any action involving such. Let’s remember that he disliked any form of violence, whether it was stoning a woman for her sins, hating and hurting good Samaritans (a group despised by Jews and shown lavish levels of bigotry), did not advocate power-grabs whether by a government or by himself as a way to prevent his own murder. Jesus, indeed, decided to forgo hatred against everyone (including the despised Samaritans), and wanted justice, peace and universal brotherhood.
Has anyone the right to take away a life that presumably God bestowed? Who the heck is this demented Augustine who so wantonly disregards Jesus? What a damned fool!
So when I die and if there is a Christian heaven, I can guarantee that God and Jesus will be very unhappy with me. It is because I flagrantly disregarded Jesus’s main dictates regarding treatment of others since I am no longer a pacifist. (Oh-oh, I’m in trouble now for my deliberate arrogant willfulness: Pacifism (???) – Countercurrents.)
Yet many of my friends are pacifists — including Quakers, Catholic Workers and others FROM RELIGIONS OTHER THAN CHRISTIANITY! Despite that the latter people are not Christians, I bet that they would please God and Jesus because they ACT just like ideal Christians in many different ways!
Pacifism – Catholic Worker Movement
The Catholic Worker, May 1936, 8. Summary: Outlines The Catholic Worker pacifist position: opposition to class war, imperialist war, and war preparations.
Pacifism is opposition to war, militarism, or violence. The word pacifism was coined by the …. The Quakers were prominent advocates of pacifism, who as early as 1660 had repudiated violence in all forms and adhered to a strictly pacifist …
Apr 3, 2014 – Uploaded by QuakerSpeak
Swarthmore College professor George Lakey in this week’s Quaker Speak on why Quakers are nonviolent …
Jul 3, 2009 – Quakers believe that there is something of God in everybody. … involved in social and political issues and believe in pacifism and non-violence.
Now, one day my Skyworks friend and I were talking, and he told me that he hated Muslims and the Islamic religion. My reply to him was that he tried to be a good Christian and knew of the Christian faith from having been trained into the religion by his father. Then I paused and added, What would happen if you had had a good Rabbi for a father or a good Imam? Would have you likely striven to be a good Christian then?
He got the point. It was loud and clear that his training into the Christian faith helped set his choices to follow it throughout his life … just as it is for people following other religions than his and other brands of Christianity since there are so many sects.
My point here is basic: If you are going to talk the talk, then you’d better walk the walk regardless of whatever religion that you follow or don’t. After all they are all sending the same message loudly and clearly!… Act like Jesus or whomever else you follow or realize that you are halfhearted and insincere.
It goes like this regardless of your religion: or other belief system. There are no if’s, and’s, nor but’s — no caveats and selectively following tenets as they suit one’s fancy or predilections:
Brahmanism: This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.: Mahabharata 5:1517
Christianity: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.: Matthew 7:12
Islam: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother what which he desires for himself. Sunnah
Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.: Udana Varga 5:18
Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowmen. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.: Talmud, Shabbat 31:a
Confucianism: Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto others that you would not have them do unto you.: Analects 15:23
Taoism: Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.: T’ai Shag Kan Ying P’ien
Zoroastrianism: That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good: for itself. : Dadistan-i-dinik 94:5
I am very firm and clear on this point: Unless someone takes the moral and the ethical high-ground regarding his particular religion or philosophical belief, he is merely paying lip-service to his religion or belief system. In short, he is likely a hypocrite or has some sort of mental deficiency.
After all, there are good, mediocre and bad followers in each religious and ideological bent. Something does, then, account for the errant ways and are they true followers when they go against the basic tenets that they propose or profess to follow? Who are these so-called followers, who cannot follow and refuse to do so? What ilk are they when they flagrantly disregard the teachings that they profess to follow?
“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.” : Albert Einstein – (1879-1955) Physicist and Professor, Nobel Prize 1921
My grandfather used to say that the palm of the hand is God and the different fingers are the different religions all coming to the same conclusions through connection to God. Was he a heretic? Perhaps he was according to some Christian sects, but not according to others.
Who’s to judge? Certainly not you nor I any more that we are to judge the woman who was starting to be stoned for being a sinner or the Samaritan for being of a different religious belief system and ethnic background.
The main point here is to walk the walk according to the golden rule. Each major religion and philosophical belief system dealing with comportment makes this point absolutely clearly in no uncertain terms. Otherwise, sham and insincerity is involved in my view. One is simply a pious faker, otherwise.
In addition, I want to share that my USA pacifist Catholic Worker friend, who literally laid his life on the line in Bosnia, told me that the German atheists, who have no belief in the afterlife, were the fiercest people in protecting life with their own lives in Bosnia. Keep this fact in mind while listening to this song, please.
Who are we to judge and denigrate others unlike ourselves? It is time for this madness of dismissing or hating others to unconditionally stop. Indeed, it is past time!
Jul 10, 2014 – Uploaded by Hillsong Worship
I have seen Prayers answered and the
Sally Dugman is a writer in MA, USA.