Sunday, November 7, 2010

An omitted step

Thomas Friedman, Dear Gentle Reader(s), is a provocative writer.  One can’t help but think while reading his columns, agreeing and/or disagreeing.  Today’s on-line column edition, “Long Live Lady Luck,” is a prime example.

Friedman writes about how lucky we, in the U.S., were to have escaped 5 efforts to bring, once again, death to our shores via Al Qaeda plotting.  He also writes about what we should do to stop “the savage madness .”  As usual with most of the writing found in similar arguments, Friedman chooses not to address the subject of Koranic interpretation which is used for justification for this “madness.”

Friedman writes,

When Muslim jihadists are ready to just gun down or blow up unarmed men, women and children in the midst of prayer — Muslim or Christian — it means there are no moral, cultural or religious restraints left on the Islamic fringe. It’s anything goes. And it’s becoming routine.

Then he discusses moral and cultural restraints, but not religious.

Christians believe that Jesus came to reform the Abrahamic religion of the day.  Perhaps that underlying belief makes it easier for Christians and some Jews to “modernize” their religions than it is for moderate Muslims to do the same for theirs.

Religious writings were written for a specific people at a specific time, dealing with specific problems.  We choose to believe that those writings are applicable to our own day, but to insist that the intervening years of development of human understanding of the human condition count for nothing could well be as blasphemous and arrogant an insistence as anything ever. 

Change is part of The Plan.

Writing is, in essence, metaphor.

We should remember that, we should teach that—especially if we want to address all the ways to end the “madness.”

Trust, but verify.

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