Monday, 24 September 2007

Open to new light?

posted by Kathy

Are you open to new light, from whatever source it may come?"

That's one of the challenges posed by Advices and Queries. One of the blogs I read from time to time is Adventus, an American blog which I think comes from an Episcopalian (C of E) perspective. Sometimes I find it "speaks to my condition".

Today it includes an extract from an interview with President Ahmadeinejad of Iran, broadcast on United States television. Being told that President Bush is "without question, a very religious man", President Ahmedeinijad began to question this. This led him to explore what religion means:

"What religion, please tell me, tells you as a follower of that religion to occupy another country and kill its people? Please tell me. Does Christianity tell its followers to do that? Judaism, for that matter? Islam, for that matter? What prophet tells you to send 160,000 troops to another country, kill men, women, and children? You just can't wear your religion on your sleeve or just go to church. You should be truthfully religious. Religion tells us all that you should respect the property, the life of different people. Respect human rights. Love your fellow man. And once you hear that a person has been killed, you should be saddened. You shouldn't sit in a room, a dark room, and hatch plots. And because of your plots, many thousands of people are killed. Having said that, we respect the American people. And because of our respect for the American people, we respectfully talk with President Bush. We have a respectful tone. But having said that, I don't think that that is a good definition of religion. Religion is love for your fellow man, brotherhood, telling the truth.

While I am not in sympathy with all the President Ahmedeinijad's statements, his words on this occasion deserve consideration. I'm glad to have read this - and Adventus's post on the subject.

Meanwhile, Nigel recommends this article from today's Guardian about Quaker Meeting and silence. And I can't remember who recommended reading this piece in which the previous Guardian religious affairs correspondent gives the reason for his resignation.

And I've just followed a link to a page of Quaker information, ideas, diaries and resources, including the chance to win a Quaker T-shirt! Is this a Quaker first?

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