April 12, 2009

A Tolerant Easter For All

First of all I would like to wish you all Happy Easter! May you spend this spring week surrounded by family and friends. I myself have worked in the garden, painted eggs, had easter breakfast with family and enjoyed spring on the terrace. Always living the good life :)

On a different note Easter is the most important Christian holiday. Given this, of course the topic of religion is on the table and although I rarely write about it, today I would like to say a few words.

While Pope Benedict XVI calls for peace in the Middle East, this news item (unfortunately only available in German), is an article about the Easter sermon by Walter Mixa, a German catholic bishop with a less peaceful message. He has been known for highly conservative ideas and tasteless comparisons. Apparently a politician of the green party once called him a "manic chief fundamentalist". I would like to say that I don't consider myself an atheist, but Mixa's current attack goes against most any world view that does not prominently involve God (especially the Christian one).

Two published quotes from the bishop's sermon really get me upset:

"Where God is negated and fought, man and his dignity will soon enough be negated and disdained, too. A society without God is hell on earth."

"In the last century the godless regimes of National Socialism and Communism with their penal camps, their secret police and their mass murders have proven in a gruesome way the inhumanity of practiced atheism."

To me this is backward thinking and although I won't enter into the atheist/theist discussion I just want to point out that this kind of attack no matter from which side is really hurtful. Of course the picture he is painting is factually untrue but more importantly it is a message of separation. It condemns people for what they believe or don't believe.

I take it a bishop's job is to 'spread the Good News'. What he is actually doing is bringing horrible news to an awful lot of people who will not appreciate the church for it, or for that matter Christianity as a whole. Truely a job badly done! In short: I could not disagree more with the opinion and the way of delivering it.

Now fortunately I don't have to end on this negative news story, but instead I would like to share this with you. A Charter for Compassion that unites rather than separates. Watch the video and be happy :)

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