Chad Smith, of Great Neck, New York, replied to an article by Madeleine Bunting (“Paralysed by panic”, 24/12/2004, Guardian). Mr Smith argues that “if you don’t accept tolearance, peace and understanding, you are bound to fail”. As I could not locate his article online, I’ve re-entered it here.
My favourite line is, “It’s time the wrecking ball of acceptance destroyed the walls that divide us.”
“Paralysed by religion”
Madeleine Bunting’s harrowing opinion concerning the role of religion — particularly the Catholic church’s — on the world stage is both chilling and accurate. We have indeed entered an epoch of uncertainty and trepidation. The volatile world climate of today reveberates with echoes of another time in history: the pre-first world war era.
But what makes the recent state of events so damning is the fact that now we do have the means for a far more prosperous global community. We have modernised immensely on both the technological and medical fronts. And — most importantly — we have the hindsight and knowledge that those in history lacked so clearly.
We all know what happens when we start to give up faith and religious principles: pseudo-religious, totalitarian-like regimes emerge headed by hot-headed demagogues (check for yourselves: church attendance was at rock bottom in second-world-war Germany).
Whatever your religion may be, if you don’t accept tolerance, peace and understanding, you are bound to fail — just look at the history books. Unfortunately, human nature, in the same way it has an innate sense to reproduce, eat and protect its young, also has an inborn desire to divide and form coalitions, religions or cults. It’s time the wrecking ball of acceptance destroyed the walls that divide us.
Great Neck, New York, USA