Month: September 2010

  • The "Others"

    Tyler Clementi, a freshman at Rutgers, jumped off the George Washington Bridge to his death after a clandestine video of Clementi having sex with a male acquaintance in his dorm room was posted online by his roommate. Sexual orientation is just one way that society sets people apart as "other" and demonizes them. I'm reminded of the scene from an old Frankenstein movie where a village mob sets out to exact revenge on the classical paradigm of otherness, Frankenstein. We find so many ways to designate "others", people we deem unworthy of our respect or consideration. Religious, political, or racial views, right to life issues, gender and sexual orientation, age, wealth and poverty are all ways our propensity toward otherness prevents civilization from living up to being "created in the image and likeness of God." Why is it human nature is compelled to demonize someone who may be different from them?

  • Religious Extremism

    Against the pleas of America's commanders in the battlefield who suggest the action would put our young men and women in Afghanistan in harm's way, evangelical pastor Terry Jones and his 50 followers of the Dove World Outreach Center plan to commemorate 9/11 by burning Qurans. He claims that Islam is the devil and its sacred book, the Quran, is "full of lies." Against this backdrop the dust is the continuing debate over the plan to build an Islamic center blocks away from Ground Zero.

    Christians are once again showing that they are just as prone to the same religious extremism they despise and, in effect, show themselves to be no better than terrorists or radicals. Thank God that the majority of all who honor him, via whatever spiritual path they walk, espouse love, tolerance and care for those in need.