Monday, June 27, 2005

How religious right, left can work together

The News ran a Washington Post story about how the religious left and religious right are working together on some issues, such as a hunger convocation in Washington. The following are comments by two Faith and Policy columnists and another contributor:
That's how Saturday's debate in the Detroit News began.

According to Rabbi Aaron Bergman,
. . .If religious leaders on the right and religious leaders on the left cannot work together on important projects, they are not religious leaders or servants of God. They are political hacks, no better than the most blatantly self-interested politician. . .

According to Jordan J. Ballor,
. . .On any number of issues, partisan politicking and loyalty has trumped theological and ecclesiastical unity. And with the increasing politicization of churches, oftentimes prudential policy issues become a new "shibboleth." Demonization of the religious opposition obscures the agreement of intent that often exists, overemphasizing the discord over how that good intention is to be actualized. . .

According to Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi,
. . . Interfaith participants should be true to their traditional identities and not bargain on their principles, but avoid exploiting religion for political purposes. Traditional Christian-Jewish interfaith groups have often silenced criticism over issues like Israeli-Palestinian conflict. . .
The Imam is certainly being true to one of his major principles; blame the Jews and Christians, but especially the Jews for all of the pathologies of Islam. As for "exploiting religion for political purposes", isn't that another principle of Islam? Didn't he just indulge in it?

Yes, we can all work together, if we are truly willing to do so.

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