Let us reach deep into our own well of faith and spirit
Here in Northern New Mexico, let us all be capable of critical thought and wise enough to recognize that the hate, bigotry and violence by a few who commit their despicable acts in the name of Allah, or Christ, or the Buddha, do not represent the millions of Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Wiccans and other faithful who live lives of care, compassion, service and love.
In 2018, over 200 different ethnic, racial, spiritual and social groups call U. S. North America home. Included are many dozen forms of spiritual expression that existed on these shores before white colonization and Christianization. Many others were dragged to these shores unwillingly. Millions more came to the U. S. to escape religious persecution in their home country.
Most of the faithful adhere to the tenets of their faith, seeking and often finding guidance, solace and hope in their sacred texts. Whether it is the Bible, Torah, Quran or sutra, all offer messages of peace, love and compassion.
Sadly extremists, often a fundamentalist few, of every religion, exist. Some misrepresent, twist and distort the words and sacred teachings to justify their own personal or political agenda. Others are more susceptible, even cognitively incapable of recognizing the distortions, and can become rabid followers, led by charismatic voices who preach disdain, not respect; violence, not peace; and hate, not love.
Self-proclaimed Christians, USA born and bred, white nationalist, hate groups commit horrible acts of abuse and terrorism in the name of Christ. While twisting the words of the Quran to justify their crimes, a tiny percentage of self-named Muslims commit violent acts in this and other nations. Although non-violence is central to Buddhist teachings, Buddhist leaders in Myanmar violently persecute the Rohingya people, who are Muslim.
All who spew hate or commit violence in the name of their religion only disgrace their religion. They practice bigotry and extremism. They serve hate, not spirit.
We cannot let a warped, poisoned few taint an entire people or spirituality. Let us each reach deep into our own well of faith and spirit, and draw on the balm of peace and love to be found there. Latir