Our belief and our conduct PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 25 April 2014 11:04

By REMEDIOS F. MARMOLEÑO

 

Can hate be so strong as to lead someone to kill people he doesn’t even know just because these people belong to a religion the killer doesn’t like? It seems so if a shooting spree that happened this week in a US city that led to the death of 3 people is any indication.

Shortly after the incident US Pres. Obama  said  “Nobody should have to worry about their security when gathering with their fellow believers. No one should ever have to fear for their safety when they go to pray.” This is a stand people of goodwill throughout the world will also take.  But there are those whose warped minds make them do the opposite.

Who are these people who believe that their God  wants them to kill those who believe in another God? Who are these people who believe that their God is honored when they kill and maim the followers of other religions?

We do not know them by name but we do know them by their actions. The Buddhists in Rohingya (Myanmar ) have been persecuting the Muslims. The Muslims in Afghanistan have been persecuting the Christians. The Christians in Central African Republic have been persecuting the Muslims. There are loops of violence in different parts of the world, with one religious group in one country being the victims and in another country this same group becomes the persecutors.

Pres. Obama said it well,.  “[W]e’ve  got to  stand united against this kind of terrible violence…And we have to keep coming together across faiths to combat the ignorance and intolerance …that can lead to hatred and violence.”

I do not know anyone who is an atheist. I know people who act as though they do not believe in a personal God but who, when called on the spot, will proclaim their belief in a Transcendent Being. I think those of us who proclaim our belief in God but who act as though no such God really exists  give traction to the atheists’ assertion that there is no need to believe in a God if the believers are the sort we are.

For Catholics like me Pope Francis’ homily for Palm Sunday is a good guide to take stock of how I have been as a Catholic and a Christian.  I am far from being what I should be, and there are many like me, but perhaps our saving grace is that we know there is still a long road to travel to be where we should be, and that our journey can be made much easier if we call on God to help us.

It is said that Mahatma Gandhi, who was a Hindu, spent an hour every morning and an hour every evening  every day to mediate. And his morning meditation topic was always Chapter 5 of the Gospel of Matthew. The chapter is the one that begins with the Beatitudes and includes the exhortations to be “the salt of the earth” “the light of the world” and ends with the reminder that God “makes his  sun rise on both the wicked and the good, and he gives rain to both the just and the unjust.”

If we say we love God we must try to be more like Him