Forrest Gump_UGAWant to read a book that might tilt your thinking & theology on the tangle of immigration? Of course you don’t.

That’s why we need books like “Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence” by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, referred by this 11/20/2015 AJC editorial: “Ancient texts critical ending religious violence.”

(If you want to cut the chase scene, just read the bottom line.)

“The 21st century will not be a century of secularism. It will be an age of desecularization & religious conflicts.”

Why?
“Demographically, religious communities produce lots of babies and swell their ranks, while secular communities do not.”

In the 21st century “we have a maximum of choices and minimum of meaning.”

“The secular substitutes for religion – nationalism, racism and political ideology – have lead to disaster. So many flock to religion, sometimes – especially within Islam – to extremist forms.” (Makes me wonder if we have any religious zealots in our own country?)

“Religion foster’s groupishness and the downside of groupishness is conflict with people outside the group. Religion can lead to sick moral communities, but in extreme forms it can also lead to what Rabbi Sacks calls pathological dualism, the mentality that divides the world between those who are unimpeachably good and those are irredeemably bad.”

“The pathological duelist can’t reconcile is humiliated place in the world with his own moral superiority. He braces a politicized religion – restoring the caliphate – and seeks to destroy those outside his group by apocalyptic force. This leads to ask what Saxton calls altruistic evil, or acts of terror in which the self-sacrifice involved somehow is thought to confirm the right to be merciless and unfathomably cruel.”

“Secular thought and moral relativism are unlikely to offer any effect a rebuttal. Among religious people, mental shifts be found by reinterpreting the holy text themselves.

There has to be a theology of the Other: a complex biblical understanding of how to seek God’s face in strangers.”