“There are those who have a religious faith and those that don’t, and that has pretty much been the way it’s been throughout mankind’s history. It’s unfortunate that people who fall into either camp disparage those who believe differently from themselves. I think of it as philosophical racism.”
“Whether or not we have a religious orientation, I suspect that most of us, if we were to read the Pope’s remarks without knowing who the author was, would applaud his statement. It seems foolish, if not reprehensible, to discard or demean his comments simply because they come from a religious figure while, if the same speech were given by Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela, we would applaud it as an outstanding piece of oratory.”
The above two paragraphs were a comment that I left for someone on the Huffington Post who had thoroughly denounced Pope Francis’ Easter “Urbi et Orbi” proclamation. While I presume from the tone of the statement this person left that he or she is an atheist, the same sort of intolerance unfortunately can be found within the ranks of the religious – both towards members of other belief systems as to those who profess to having none.
If there is one thing that we who claim to be Christians (in whatever form that may take) should most remember at Easter particularly, but throughout the year as well, it is that if you look at the three year ministry of Jesus, he drew everyone to Himself without regard to their physical condition, their status in society or their financial situation. Much of that message appeared in Francis’ speech at the Vatican.
Easter is a time for renewal and optimism. So let’s hope before we celebrate it again next year, each of us will be filled with the message of tolerance and love for one’s neighbors that Jesus taught and that we may find that next year the people of the earth are more at peace with one another and with God.