I listen to the news of your suicide bombings and your “Death to the Infidels” chanting, your subjugation of women, your use of chemical warfare and the audacity of beheadings, and I want to do two things to you.
First, I want to wave your Holy Book in your face reminding you that nowhere does your faith justify such misguided hatred, oppression and butchery. I want to force you to admit your arrogant sinfulness and the incredulous incongruity with which you are living your “faithful life.” You “so called” believer in one of the world’s great religions, mocking the very tenants of your faith. You hypocrite!
The other thing I want to do to you is bomb the hell out of you in response to your barbaric actions. I want to “drone bomb” you completely out of existence before you further terrorize the world. The world would be better off without you.
Then, I see the Holy Book of my faith sitting on the edge of my desk as I write. It is about the same size and shape as yours. I know what its well-worn pages say about humility… the peace-makers… those living by the sword… loving enemies…and turning the other cheek. I have studied that book for a life-time and know unmistakably what it says.
And suddenly I find that my voice crying “You Hypocrite” is reverberating in my own ears. I realize the phrase “incredulous incongruity” is a one-size-fits-all jacket resting on my own shoulders.
Left up to us and our visceral reactions to one another –you and I will just continue to kill each other. The only hope I know is taking your Holy Book more seriously, or mine, or both. To be a person of faith, any faith, is not to just know what’s in the book, it is to live what’s in the book. To be a person of faith is to risk living with Credulous Congruity.
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