The Bedrock of Civil Society? Mercy in the Face of Death -- Sightings (William Schweiker)
Ever since we first heard about how a young man chose to attend and then shoot a group of men and women studying the Bible, we have been talking about what led up to that shooting and how we might or should respond. Yesterday, we watched as the state of South Carolina took down a divisive symbol (Confederate battle flag) as one response. While it may get lost in the noise of our conversations, another thing happened in the aftermath. A number of the families pronounced forgiveness of the young perpetrator of this act of unspeakable violence. William Schweiker of the University of Chicago Divinity School wants us to focus on that act of forgiveness, insisting that it is the key to peace. Yes, forgiveness, something Jesus pronounced from the cross, is the foundation of a new vision for society. In the midst of the meditation Schweiker makes this point:
One of the major challenges—maybe the major challenge—facing religious people in all of the world’s religions, is, to be frank, how to interpret their sacred writings in the most humane way.
It is true that all of our religious have violent readings, but the question for us is how we read those texts. Can we, will we, interpret them "in the most humane way?"
Take a read and consider this question.