Written by Hillsboro Free Press Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:23
Hilliary Clinton doesn’t get much of an ear in this blood-red Republican state of ours. But when she speaks truth, she deserves to be heard. Last week our secretary of state delivered a powerful speech about religion at a reception marking the end of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. The violent attacks on the U.S. embassies in the Middle East, and the deaths of four diplomats at the hands of militants in Libya, formed the backdrop for her comments.
Aside from condemning the “inflammable and despicable” anti-Muslim film circulating the Internet that ignited the violence, Clinton made a broader appeal: All religions have faced insults and denigration, but that’s no justification for a violent response.
“When Christians are subject to insults to their faith, and that certainly happens, we expect them not to resort to violence,” she said. “When Hindus or Buddhists are subjected to insults to their faiths, and that also certainly happens, we expect them not to resort to violence. The same goes for all faiths, including Islam.
“I so strongly believe that the great religions of the world are stronger than any insults. They have withstood offense for centuries. Refraining from violence, then, is not a sign of weakness in one’s faith; it is absolutely the opposite, a sign that one’s faith is unshakable.”
Clinton asked the crowd—and ultimately all of us who claim to be people of faith—to work toward building a world where if one person commits a violent religious act, millions of people will stand up and condemn it.
“We can pledge that whenever one person speaks out in ignorance and bigotry, 10 voices will answer,” she said. “They will answer resoundingly against the offense and the insult; answering ignorance with enlightenment; answering hatred with understanding; answering darkness with light.”
Most of us are hazy about the tenets of Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism, but Clinton’s words certainly reflect the approach of Christianity’s Jesus, who endured insults and much more for defending the dignity of all people yearning for the embrace of God. At a minimum, people who truly follow him will never be the ones propagating the insults. —DR