Beliefnet
Beginner's Heart

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?

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.

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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