September 10, 2013

Love is a threat to those in power

The core of nearly all religious teaching is about love and compassion, compassion for those we love and for our neighbors, but also for the world around us and even for those who hate us.  It is about pushing this love outward into the world. This compassion, which does not exclude justice, is one that urges us to have empathy for the other, to stand in the other's shoes.

It is the first prerequisite to making peace, to healing personal and national conflict and to defying the powers on earth that drive us to serve other gods. The forces that seek to harness the power of religion and deform it into a civic religion have no use for the fundamental core call to love.  Indeed, it is the message they seek most actively to destroy, even as they cloak themselves in religious piety and employ religious language.
- Chris Hedges, Losing Moses on the Freeway