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Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

‘God is Not a Christian’ & other universals ~

I’ve written about this quote (his book‘s title) from Biship Tutu before. But in the mania ‘remembering’ the horrible nightmare that is the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy, it’s good to hear.

Unlike some, I see nothing good that has come from 9/11. War, with its thousands and thousands of deaths? The acceptance of increased public racial profiling? TSA procedures that apparently aren’t even effective? A widened schism between cultures and religions? The so-called patriot laws…?  This is the legacy we’ve built following the amazing outpouring of international grief and support after 9/11?

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My deepest grief is that my Muslim friends (& extended family) now walk through their lives with many of the same fears and day-to-day humiliations of other ‘non-white’ friends. A pervasive ‘you’re different, and that’s not good’ attitude that daily slams many of the people I love.

What  Bishop Tutu says is compelling: what kind of God wouldn’t recognise the divinity in Ghandi? In the Dalai Lama? In what world is the good done by a Muslim unequal to the good done by a  Christian? And yet — I have family members who believe I’m destined to spend eternity in hell, simply because of my rejection that belief in Jesus’s divinity is the only way to grace.

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So this decade past the tragedy of 9/11 and its aftermath, I offer a humble spin on Bishop Tutu’s powerful words: God is more than Christian. As a friend of mine told me once, ‘all religions are just different ladders to the same God.’ That makes such good sense to me… Far more  than an after-life where you only get in if you know the secret handshake…

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