Click Map for Details

Flag Counter

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Goodwill—Accept No Substitutes

Today Kathy and I had a Christmas lunch at Olive Garden with Tu Tu and his wife and baby girl.  They are a young couple in their early 20’s.  I have known Tu Tu all his life.  When Kathy and I arrived home, we viewed the film Gandhi (1982).  In a sense, this film had a Christmas message.  A memorable quote of Gandhi’s is “When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always.”  For Christians, this is indication that the Lord Almighty reigneth; Jesus personifies eternal truth and love.  A sobering aspect of the film was the religious violence in India arising after independence from Britain was won.  The hatred between Hindus and Muslims resulted in widespread bloodshed.  Gandhi related his good fortune to have been raised in a community in India where there was great religious tolerance.  In fact “tolerance” seems to have a tinge of unwarranted negativity.  The comity between the various religions (including Christianity) in the community where he grew up was based on deeply rooted goodwill.  The religious prejudice that resulted in conflict after independence was unfortunately also deeply rooted and had all kinds of political and economic implications.  The United States, with its emphasis on religious freedom, attempts to thwart economic or political discrimination due to one’s religion.  Does that make religion irrelevant to public life?  Hardly.  But it does attempt to blunt any manifestations of ill will by outlawing discrimination in employment or housing, for example.  Therefore religious differences are just that—religious.  Hence, one’s view of heaven (especially if it contains a portion of venom) has limited impact on earth.  Believe what you like, the law says, just so that does not result in harm to others.  Sports are always a good analogy in America.  If one can hit the ball and obey the rules of the game (have good sportsmanship), it doesn’t matter one’s creed or color; anyone can be a hero.  In more routine work, this means that every day we can work alongside each other, accomplish productive creativity, joke a lot, have fun, share human celebrations and sorrows and still have different religions.  There’s something essentially good about this; something which God will favor.  At least that what most Americans deeply believe.

Print Page