Goldberg and avoiding knee-jerk hatred

So I was inspired by Brian’s post on “why gays are second-class citizens” [in the US], and by some of the anger-filled comments in response to his post, to think more this morning about people loving each other instead of knee-jerk hating.

Then I was roaming on newsvine to this inspiring editorial from Alexander Goldberg, about a new multi-faith center he’s establishing in the UK to help build common understanding and open-ness across faiths. He also argues for govt support of such centers, which Americans would of course have a harder time supporting.

So I end here with some encouragement to anyone religious. You have to ask yourself – by strongly believing in the religion you were raised to “believe in”, and by only attending churches that follow this childhood-bred faith – are you spreading peace and happiness to others, or are you excluding and hating people who were not raised in your faith?

We can all learn from Goldberg’s positive example to try to think less about the borders and constructs of our various faiths, and think more about the common themes of happiness, peace and love that most religions ultimately focus on, regardless of how we were raised.

* * *

Thanks to the Onion for this important follow-up.



  1. Hear, hear! I must admit I have not read your links yet, but your final paragraph is spot on, at least for peace and love. (I think happiness is more of an appeal to American cultural views based on the Declaration of Independence, so other cultures and religions might find that word slightly out-of-place next to peace and love.) There are more common values shared by believers of different denominations and religions than some people realise. Peace and love encourage and support acts of tolerance and that attitude helps people of different faiths live together without friction. (I look forward to reading the links tomorrow ;-) )


  2. yes i hear you. I think I would definitely revise my blanket statement a bit. what else would you include other than peace and love? honesty, finding meaning outside oneself, giving/sharing? I guess that’s the fun of emotinoally-induced blanket statements… Since then I’ve thought more about meaning, less about happiness, after reading Victor Frankl’s “Man’s search for meaning.” sorry for letting the blog lapse…a project in europe and then chicago, and here i am 2 months later!


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