There was a a news piece today: roughly 140 children were murdered by the Taliban in Pakistan.
One hundred-forty lives robbed. In the name of religion.
I honestly don’t know what to do with this information: I can’t pretend empathy or remote understanding.
But I want to just say something briefly:
Largely because of violence of ISIS/ISIL, I’ve been doing some reading on Islam lately (I even bought a copy of the Qur’an). I’ve also been doing some reflecting on my own religous tradition (Christianity), and I think I just want to put this out there:
God does not want your (or our) fanaticism.
Whatever revelation you claim—Judaism, Islam, or Christian—the God of Abraham does not want your violence, or your extremism.
I think there is just plenty of evidence that what God offers us—when we really LISTEN and are willing to be humble before Him and His people—is TRANSFORMATION, not fanaticism.
Love, not hate.
Understanding, not close-mindedness.
Love, by nature, EXPANDS, not contracts.
We should be bigger people, not smaller.
Whether your fundamentalism comes in Jewish, Muslim, or Christian forms, it only causes destruction. And I just don’t think God is a god of destruction. He comes to give life and shalom.
From my own tradition, this—I believe, is why Jesus came—to call us into this wide-open kingdom of grace.
(But then again, they killed him, didn’t they?)