If you and I have opposite opinions on important issues like abortion and yet we both are quite sure that our respective opinions are a reflection of God’s teachings, where does that leave us? Reasonable people understand that two people of good-will can have different opinions; morality and truth are subjective. If we are to live together in this world, we need to be tolerant, respectful and yes, at times willing to compromise.
So why is there so much violent disharmony in the world? Because for some people, tolerance and respect is out of the question: My way is God’s way. My way is right, you are wrong. I cannot accept you position under any circumstance so you will have to submit to my position or I will have to defeat you.
It’s sad enough when common people or politicians take such absolute positions. But when a member of the clergy does so, its down right frightening. After all, is not the role of religion and the clergy to promote love and acceptance? Should not those people who have assumed the mantle of promoting God’s love in the world go out of their way to promote harmony and good will?
Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of the Roman Catholic diocese of Peoria, Illinois is quite sure that anyone who does not share his beliefs, his understanding of God, Christ’s teachings and the doctrines of his Church are evil. Are you opposed to his position on abortion? You are evil. Do you disagree with him about the role of religion in public life? You are evil. Do you subscribe to another faith and other convictions other than his? You are radical, extreme secularist. Is your name Barack Obama and so you support reproductive rights for women? You are “like Hitler.” You are like “Judas Iscariot.”
His Church is the ultimate victim of evil in the world and yet it has survived. Why? Because it is just and right. It is blessed and protected by God. And you thought radical-Islam poses a challenge to the Western World? Think again.
Out of some delusional, paranoid fear that every Muslim in the world is bent on over-throwing every government and making “Sharia,” Islamic law the law of the land, a number of American states have in recent months passed legislation that effectively makes it impossible for Islamic teachings, traditions and ideas to ever be respected and given the same rights and privileges as those traditions and practices of other mainstream faiths. It is hard to listen to Bishop Jenky’s hateful, extremist, incendiary remarks and not wonder, “this man is dangerous.” Will any politician dare to speak out let along legislate against this type open promotion of hate and intolerance?
Here is a audio recording of his April 14 sermon: