Peace and dialogue…

April 5, 2007

“There will be no peace among nations unless there is peace and dialogue between religious leaders.  The goals of Islam, Judaism and Christianity are the same.”  Armenian Orthodox Archbishop Sebu Sarkissian, head of the largest Christian body in Iran, with some 150,000 members.
This quote was taken from an article written by J. Darryl Byler, who recently took part in a delegation of 13 U.S. religious leaders to Iran.  I am once again struck by the profound ways in which religion guides the actions and attitudes of adherents both for good and for evil. 

I just read the feature piece in the April 9, 2007 Newsweek by Jon Meacham.  Rick Warren and Sam Harris (an atheist) face off over the question–“Is God Real?”

Sam Harris states: “The core problem for me is divisive dogmatism.  There’s nationalism, there’s tribalism, there’s racism, there’s chauvinism.  And there’s religion.  Religion is the only sphere of discourse where dogma is actually a good word, where it is considered ennobling to believe something strongly based on faith.  …but first let me deal with Stalin.  The killing fields and the gulag were not the product of people being too reluctant to believe things on insufficient evidence.  They were not the product of people requiring too much evidence and too much argument in favor of their beliefs.  We have people flying planes in our buildings because they have theological grievances against the West.  No society in human history has ever suffered because it has become too reasonable.”

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