EDITORIAL: Respect all, no matter their beliefs
Millions of people will be celebrating Christmas through Monday, marking the birth of Jesus Christ some 2006 years ago. Those who have read the New Testament understand the power of his teachings. Jesus urged people to be pacifists, to forgive ot...
Millions of people will be celebrating Christmas through Monday, marking the birth of Jesus Christ some 2006 years ago.
Those who have read the New Testament understand the power of his teachings. Jesus urged people to be pacifists, to forgive others without being judgmental, to help the downtrodden. Biblical texts indicate Jesus also preached a sermon of respect, advising citizens of the day to pay their taxes, "rendering therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's."
While some religions don't agree about his resurrection or relationship to God, they largely acknowledge and respect what he said.
In this season of religious observance, we should remind ourselves of the respect we should display as members of our faiths. Despite differences in doctrine, the world's religions are common in their teachings of respect for human life and values.
That respect currently is being tested among our own national leaders. A small minority are outraged that incoming Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison will use a Quran during his ceremonial swearing in. Ellison was taken to task by U.S. Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Va., who wrote a letter to his constituents warning that unless immigration is tightened, more Muslims might be elected.
Goode's timing is terrible. His irrational rant disrespects Christian doctrine and tarnishes his religion at a time other Christians are celebrating.
At times such as these, it's good to remind ourselves that Europeans sailed to North America so they could worship as they please without fear of church or political reprisal. That's why the founding fathers carefully worded the U.S. Constitution to ensure freedom. It says:
"... no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." That includes swearing an oath while placing one's hand on the Bible, any other religious book, or no religious book at all.
This Christmas, let's respect each others' lives, their beliefs and treat everyone as equals, as Jesus taught.