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If you are not true to your professed position in life, then you are false to everyone, including yourself. If you take up a religious or ideological position, then there are no half-measures in terms of support for the position presumed to be undertaken.

I was raised in a Christian family. While I am no paradigm of virtue, I did strive for the most part to follow tenets and parts of dogma that makes sense. (It is still a work in progress.)

Yet since my parents were ecumenical in nature, I try to take the best from each religion to which I was exposed and apply it in behaviors that I conduct daily in life.

Not oddly, all of the world’s major religions have the same basic understandings. It is some sort of archetypal underpinnings that our species has. In relation, this can be checked out as verification:

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

Let’s, though, focus on Jesus and people who profess to be Christians or who like Christian ideology. They can deeply inspect themselves in relation:

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. – From Great Commandment – Wikipedia

This is not love thy neighbor if he has the same colored skin as you, nor love him only if he has your own religion and culture. People need to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Otherwise they are false Christians or whatever else they believe as representative of the religion that they follow.

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Image result for love thy neighbor image boston march

Samaritans were hated and despised by Jews during the time of this (as presumed to have taken place) incident, just as other groups are hated and despised by some Christians today.

The parable of the Good Samaritan is a parable told by Jesus in Luke 10:25–37. It is about a traveler who is stripped of clothing, beaten, and left half dead alongside the road. First a priest and then a Levite comes by,but both avoid the man. Finally, a Samaritan happens upon the traveler [and tends him back to health. –S. D.]. – From Parable of the Good Samaritan – Wikipedia

Then we also have the Christian just war theory. What did Jesus or the makers of your religion if not Christian, presumably, think about that viewpoint?

How much more clear can it get when repeated over and over again that THOU SHALT NOT KILL!

Matthew 5:21
You have heard that it was said to the ancients, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’

Matthew 19:18
“Which ones?” the man asked. Jesus answered, “‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness,

Mark 10:19
You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not defraud, and honor your father and mother.'”

Luke 18:20
You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your father and mother.'”

Romans 13:9
The commandments “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and any other commandments, are summed up in this one decree: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

James 2:11
For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

Walking the Walk: Excerpted from Catholic Workers turn 20 – News – telegram.com – Worcester, MA where my friends give shelter to indigent people in their home and out of which they provide other acts of mercy across the world:

On a given day, Mr. Schaeffer-Duffy and his wife, Claire, receive about six to 10 requests from individuals who need emergency accommodations at the Catholic Worker Home that they, and four other individuals, founded at 52 Mason St.

Mr. Schaeffer-Duffy said nobody has ever been turned down, including a white supremacist from the South, who didn’t know that the bed he was sleeping in was offered up to a black man during alternative hours.

Some years back, the Schaeffer-Duffys played host for six weeks to the man who ran the secret police for the former shah of Iran.

“We consider ourselves to be a sort of bed and breakfast for the homeless and the lost,” Mrs. Schaeffer-Duffy said.

This summer, the Sts. Francis and Therese Catholic Worker Movement Home is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

While the other founders have long since moved on, the Schaeffer-Duffys continue their simple mission of providing outreach to those in need and of advocating peace and other social justice issues.

Over the years, the Schaeffer-Duffys have become locally well-known for organizing peace and nonviolence rallies.

For example, every Tuesday evening the group protests American intervention in Iraq with vigils at Lincoln Square.

The group also held demonstrations at the U.S. submarine facility in Groton, Conn., and the GTE plant in Westboro, where electronics for nuclear weapons were produced.

Mr. Schaeffer-Duffy has also garnered headlines and drawn heat from political conservatives for his visits to “hotbed” countries such as Nicaragua, Israel, India, Bosnia, Sudan, Iraq and Northern Ireland.

He has been arrested “about 40-odd times” as a result of his acts of civil disobedience.

Though their peace activism draws most of the attention, the Schaeffer-Duffys’ impact on the community is perhaps better measured by the couple’s resolve to provide meals and beds to wayward souls.

“It can be frustrating, but we’ll continue at it, because this home is a good place to find God,” Mrs. Schaeffer-Duffy said.

The Schaeffer-Duffys met while working at Catholic Worker Movement homes in Washington, D.C.

The Worker Movement was founded in 1933 by Peter Maurin, a former French peasant, and Dorothy Day, a Catholic convert.

The organization runs “houses of hospitality” that are usually in rundown sections of cities. Food, shelter and clothing are provided by unpaid movement workers.

It’s estimated that there are around 185 Catholic Worker houses in the United States, including a community located in Winchendon.

Beyond its efforts to extend a helping hand to the poor, Catholic Worker communities are known for their support of labor unions, human rights and cooperatives. Most members are pacifists and, during times of military conscription, many have been conscientious objectors.

The movement has also declined to apply for federal tax exempt status, seeing such recognition as binding their communities to the state and limiting the organization’s freedom to take action.

With its emphasis on community, prayer, and hospitality to the needy, the movement has much in common with the Franciscan and Benedictine orders.

The movement homes in Washington that the Schaeffer-Duffys worked in gave them a taste of what the organization was about and the type of commitment they’d have to make.

“The number two cause of infant deaths, for example, was rat bites,” Mr. Schaeffer-Duffy said. “That’s how bad things were.”

Mrs. Schaeffer-Duffy, who has traveled to Haiti and Afghanistan, spent much of her childhood in India, where her father served as a foreign service officer.

She attended the University of Virginia, where she majored in political and social thought.

Mrs. Schaeffer-Duffy, who graduated in 1982, said she got a sense of what the Catholic Worker Movement was about after she wrote a thesis about the organization and after volunteering at the organization’s women’s home in Washington during a spring break.

Meanwhile, Mr. Schaeffer-Duffy considered joining the Capuchin Order of Franciscans following his graduation from the College of the Holy Cross.

“I was recommended for vows but I had questions about the vow of poverty,” he said. “Now, Capuchins lead simple lives but they are clergymen, nonetheless, and the church provides for them. That’s not my idea of living in poverty.”

Mr. Schaeffer-Duffy said he learned about the worker movement from David O’Brien, a professor at Holy Cross.

After the volunteer stint in Washington, Mr. Schaeffer-Duffy said that the movement was his life’s calling.

After getting married, the Schaefer-Duffys decided that Worcester was the place where they might want to open up a home.

They joined other movement workers — Carl Siciliano, Sarah Seglosky, Dan Ethier and Justin Duffy — in setting up shop in an apartment on Castle Street.

Mr. Schaeffer-Duffy, however, said the local organization really was founded in August of 1986, when the small band relocated to 21 Jaques Ave.

That move, however, was short-lived when the building burned down on April Fool’s Day of 1987. The group, in an ironic twist, found itself looking for shelter and received housing help from the Little Franciscans of Mary, as well as from friends.

The local movement workers decided they would not be discouraged and pledged to find another home.

The decision was made to buy a house but that became problematic because the Catholic Worker Movement does not believe in borrowing.

“We couldn’t just to go to the bank to get a loan, not that we probably would have gotten one, given our financial situation,” Mr. Schaeffer-Duffy said.

Friends and supporters, however, rallied to the effort, with actor Martin Sheen contributing $5,000 to the purchase of the house at 52 Mason St.

The Schaeffer-Duffys said they view their mission more as a lifestyle rather than a career.

“Our movement house is small enough, that, if we want to go to the beach, we go to the beach,” Mr. Schaeffer-Duffy said. “We’re not tied down.”

Mrs. Schaeffer-Duffy admitted that, given the situations, there have been frustrations.

“There have been days when I’ve said, ‘What the hell am I doing here?’ ” she said “But then from my little corner of the world, I realize that I’ve had the privilege of helping somebody who’s been suffering.”

The couple stressed their outreach isn’t restricted to Catholics or substance abusers and said their strangest guest may have been the ex-Iranian security chief.

The man had come to the United States with the deposed shah and had ended up in Worcester living out of his Mercedes Benz.

“He was down on his luck in a strange Eugene O’Neill sort of way,” Mrs. Schaeffer Duffy said with a chuckle. “He was wonderfully gracious during his stay. We don’t ask questions of our guests. We do make it clear that drugs, alcohol and violence are not allowed. If (President) George Bush decides to come, we’d let him stay, but, we’d give him our spiel.”

“He was one of the nicest guys you’d want to know,” Mr. Schaeffer-Duffy added. “But, then again, he probably tortured and killed thousands.”

The Schaeffer-Duffys said the man is now living with his son in California.

“Movement leaders envisioned our homes like the monasteries of old where visitors could stop for some comfort,” Mrs. Schaeffer-Duffy said. “A lot of our guests struggle with addictions and other problems but it’s not our job to provide them with counselors or social services. We’re here to offer them a quiet place to stay where they can make a plan for their future life.”

The couple have four children — Justin, 21; Grace, 18; Patrick, 14, and Aiden, 11 — but the Schaeffer-Duffys said they’re not sure their offspring will follow in their footpaths.

“They’ll have their own choices to make and their own lives to live,” said Mrs. Schaeffer-Duffy.

While their religious views differ from mine in some significant ways, I consider these friends of mine as exemplary of Christian dogma and practises. So I always donate to them because it is hard to feed all of their guests without food donations from individuals who support their efforts to help those in dire need.

I buy my food for them at Amazon.com and ship it to their home. I love doing so since these ARE my kind of people. They don’t just talk the talk. They walk the walk to improve life whenever they have the opportunity. They consider the opportunity a privilege and a blessing. They, intentionally, act like the Jesus that they have subsumed into their beings and as the core of their lives.

If you want to use Amazon.com (USA) or some other means to send them food or something else, they would be glad, I’m sure. Their address is: Scott and Claire Schaeffer-Duffy, St. Francis & St. Therese Catholic Worker House Hospitality, 52 Mason Street, Worcester, MA 01610, USA.

Okay, so we can’t help everyone in the world who needs help, but surely we can do a little bit for some others as the Schaeffer-Duffys, as their life’s effort, do! Doing so, as they are aware, means walking the walk!

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Founders of the Saints Francis & Therese Catholic Worker community
The founding members of the SS. Francis & Thérèse Catholic Worker. Back row: Claire Schaeffer-Duffy, Justin Duffy, Scott Schaeffer-Duffy. Front row: Carl Siciliano, Sarah Jeglosky, Dan Ethier.

Sally Dugman is a writer from MA, USA.

One Comment

  1. K SHESHU BABU says:

    If the messages and prophecies from all the scriptures of universal Brotherhood were followed, there would have been no need of law or government or military build up to guard borders ……and the world would have been a safer place to live and cherish the love of nature