Monday, February 27, 2006

Respect behavior, not belief

From ... This is nicely said.
Respect behavior, not belief By Steve Vallee

A Pakistani cleric has offered a million dollar contract for a whack job on a Danish cartoonist. Oops, excuse me, criminals issue a contract for a hit; holy men issue a Fatwah. I guess that I am just not religious enough to understand the difference,

This latest call to murder is about a cartoon. Another call to murder was about a novel, a piece of fiction, by Salman Rushdie that sought to stimulate discussion. These exhortations to murder raise a question. Is the Islamic faith of these people so fragile and delicate that it cannot bear questions or examination?

There are calls from the Middle East and elsewhere to respect Islam. I cannot. Nor can I respect any belief system. I can, however, respect some adherents to many belief systems because of what they do and how they treat others. Their behaviors earn my respect, not their creeds, dogmas, folklores, superstitions or delusions.

It is said that one's behavior defines more clearly than one's words. Perhaps it is time for everyone, Muslim, Christian, Wiccan, Hindu, Agnostic and Asatru to put aside the beliefs for a while and concentrate on an analysis of behavior and determine if one's behavior is that of a criminal or a decent human being.

Extremism is no virtue; moderation is no vice.

Steve Vallee, Fort Collins

Originally published February 24, 2006

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