THE INSECURITIES OF RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM AND RACIAL BIGOTRY. THE FUNDAMENTALIST NOTION THAT ONLY CHRISTIANITY IS CORRECT IS A LATTER-DAY ASPECT OF THE NOTION THAT ONLY THE WHITE EUROPEAN’S CULTURE ETC IS ANY GOOD.
We see the steeple of a beautiful Christian church, and the domes and minarets of a beautiful Islamic mosque. At the same time, we see a northern European couple and an African couple. These images represent the key divisions in our world: our divisions with regard to our religious observances, and our divisions with regard to how we identify racially. Yet, this is an image of peace and reconciliation. This is an image that shows that there is a deep unity in our lives that must always transcend our divisions.
The fundamentalist notion that only Christianity is correct, is a latter-day aspect of the notion that only the white European’s culture etc is any good. It is a lingering manifestation of that corrosive superiority complex that has contaminated the world for so long. And this is not unique to the Western world. It is a notion that at various times has infected nearly all the various peoples of our planet. Perhaps it is responsible for most of our ills. Certainly, it is an attitude that our religions, be they of the west or the east, the south or the north, must overcome within themselves. Likewise, all our various races and all our various colours of our skins.
These are crucial issues, and the time has come now, in the twenty-first century to at last address them. This we have to do. At the most mundane of levels we are increasingly aware that we live in a global village. People of other faiths and races live in our neighbourhoods and indeed next door to us. And if we had our eyes half open, we would see that ‘they are good’. This is the great spiritual purpose of our time, to at last live the Truth that we are ONE with each other, that ALL is ONE. We can make no true spiritual progress unless we live by that Truth. Indeed, we can make no social or political progress unless we live by that Truth. Our planet, our Mother Earth is sacred and holy. We are not superior to our Mother Earth, we are ONE with our Mother Earth and must love Her and care for Her. Our sacred quest, humanity’s great spiritual pilgrimage is to take us past all the terrible doors of separation and exclusivity. Instead, our sacred quest, our great spiritual pilgrimage, is to take us through the doorway, the sacred portal of inclusivity, to where ALL belongs to ALL. This spiritual awakening is happening now. At times it is painful, but it is certainly happening. We are not this race, or that race: we are the Human Race. And likewise, we must cease to identify or validate our own faiths in terms of our opposition to their faiths. We cannot judge people by the colour of their skins, we must judge them by the lives they lead. Likewise, we cannot judge those of other religions by the beliefs they subscribe to, we must judge them by the lives they lead. It is said in the New Testament, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me’. But when someone of a very different faith, or of no faith at all, reaches out to someone in love and compassion, can we not say that Christ is within that person, regardless of their faith? Our sacred and spiritual way is not to be found in what we believe, it is to be found in the life we lead. This is the sacred and spiritual and profoundly mystical path for us all. It is a path that can never be defined, or even reviled, by the colour of our skin or the scripture we hold most dear. Our destiny, the true meaning of our lives here and now, is to be found in racial and religious inclusivity. ALL is ONE. That is the test of our times, and it is the great spiritual hope and promise of our time. ALL is ONE.
Fundamentalists who think
Only their own religions are true,
Are as insecure as racists who think
Only their own ethnic groups have worth.