Paul J. Mills, Tiffany Barsotti, Meredith A. Pung, Kathleen L. Wilson, Laura Redwine, and Deepak Chopra Gratitude, along with love, compassion, empathy, joy, forgiveness, and self-knowledge, is a vital attribute of our wellbeing. While there are many definitions of gratitude, at its foundation, gratitude is a healing, life-affirming, and uplifting human experience that shifts us […]
When people argue over religion, they tend to forget a simple question: Is it better to be happy or to be right? In societies that practice religious toleration, the answer falls to the side of happiness. Being right on matters of God is left up in the air. That’s a good practical reason to remind people that, of course, anyone who wants to build a mosque has the right to do so, even if questions of zoning, local acceptability, and so on also enter the picture. In the case of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf , a moderate cleric who has openly divorced himself from political issues, he can tolerantly be seen as a force for good — he describes himself as a bridge builder between cultures.
Moderate Muslims chafe at being put into the same box with jihadis and other extremists. Right wingers jump into the box with them, however, because it holds any kind of close-mindedness, propaganda, xenophobia, and intolerance. That’s one of the perpetual ironies of such self-righteous clashes. Both sides need each other, and in their declared hostility they pretend not to notice that each is pulling one end of the same rope. It’s a sign of life returning to normal that most Americans aren’t interested in joining the tug of war. With a majority saying that the imam has a right to build his center, the 39% who disagree or have no opinion amount to the same percentage, more or less, that Republicans, Tea Partiers, and the right in general manage to attract at this moment. In tough times, when people are unsettled already, offering a bogey man works.
Published in the Washington Post
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