I would like to take a moment to wish all of our Christian friends around the world a very merry Christmas. I know what a meaningful time it is for friends and family to celebrate with those they love and hold dear.
We are at a challenging time in our history where religious freedom has come into question. For me, this holiday can be an important time to reflect on our spiritual/religious beliefs. I’ve heard a few of my Christian friends sometimes ask themselves, when being challenged by an important issue, “What would Jesus say?” When it comes to the many disturbing questions being asked about Muslims in the U.S. and around the world, my guess is that Jesus would tell us that we are all one. We are all God’s children and should move toward peace and acceptance, despite our differences.
It is understood however that those who violate the safety and rights of other human beings are to be treated differently. Radical, fundamentalist terrorists are such a group. It is outrageous to me that they call themselves Muslim, for they certainly don’t seem to practice the tenets of that faith. I remember being surprised to hear the Dali Lama support the assassination of Osama Bin Laden. As a man who hesitates to kill a mosquito, I hadn’t expected his support in this situation. The LA Times quoted him by saying “Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting what happened. … If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures, you have to take counter-measures.” The message I got from his speech was that true evil must be stopped.
Those of you who are Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim or other faiths, join me in lifting our cups of tea and wishing our Christian friends a season of health, abundance and especially peace.
“..on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14, American King James Bible)