A statement on a T-shirt PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 17 April 2017 11:55

By Remedios F. Marmoleño

In the week before Palm Sunday my grandson was wearing a T-shirt with a printed statement: “One God, One Planet, One People”. These words were arranged around a circular diagram  that had sections labeled with words indicating different faith groups – Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Sikh, etc. I asked him where he got the shirt but he could not remember, although he thought I had given it to him.  I could not remember doing so.  Going into Holy Week the statement on the shirt made me think about religion and people

For some time our astronomers have been searching outer space beyond our own planetary system and  farther out  for another inhabited planet like Earth but so far with no success. For now anyway we are the only people who  inhabit a planet in the vast universe.

Most of the people on  this planet believe in a God even if we call him by different names. Those who do not believe in a God don’t go around killing people who do believe in God. Not systematically anyway. And yet people who claim belief in God have been killing each other for centuries. Isn’t that ironic?

We call God by different names according to our chosen belief group but people who believe attribute to their God traits like loving, just, merciful, provident. Our respective religious leaders constantly instruct us to be like God, that is to be  loving, just, merciful , provident, etc. to each other.

And so it is very disturbing to see in the media on practically a daily basis  that atrocities have been carried out by members of one faith group against members of another faith group. We know that besides religion there are underlying causes for these atrocities.  We can mention maintenance of political control of a country or control of the economy as examples.

In the US for instance the election campaign for the presidency brought to the surface suspicion and/or animosity towards certain religious groups. Jews have been targeted by non-Jews; Muslims by non-Muslims. Some actions have been simple misdemeanors but others have been more serious, at the level of homicide.

In the main what is projected is that one religious group has carried out violence of different levels against members of another religion. The latest example is what happened in two Coptic churches in Egypt. These two churches were targeted even as they celebrated   Palm Sunday and the bombings resulted in the deaths of some 40 Coptic Christians.

The deplorable acts were claimed by ISIS, a group which should not be taken as representative of Islam but sadly is thought of as made up of people who claim to be followers of Islam.

May the Easter message make us reflect on what it means to believe in God.