If we can get past the need to be safe and the desire to be political, we can finally ask ourselves the question, "IS IT RIGHT?" Is it right to live a life of excluding others, even if we can justify exclusion by what we know? Or by what we think we know?
The disdain for both religious and social exclusion is often the result of seeing the excluded become the included, only in turn to begin excluding others to further validate their own included status. Discrimination is never uglier than when those who have been discriminated against wield the same painful weapon to ensure their own sense of belonging. Witnessing the abused become the abuser is excruciating to watch. If we are to achieve enlightenment, not to mention self-actualization, this vicious cycle of dysfunction must be uncovered and then broken.
Included status should never be attained or sustained by excluding others. True power comes from within - from finding peace with self first so that we can find peace with others. Abusing or excluding others will never heal the hurt caused by past abuse or fill the void left from being excluded. If I am you and you are me, then I am only stepping on myself when I step on you to get to the top of the social food chain.
Religion's nature is to exclude, to see in black and white, to deny exceptions and to maintain dominance by supposedly knowing who is qualified to be included and who is not. Unfortunately, many in the grip of the religious mindset often feel more strongly about what they are against than what they are for, and therefore tend to exclude anyone and anything that they are against. But self-awareness never comes through the promotion of what we are not, but rather by learning who we are. Any mirage of self worth achieved by marginalizing others is a fleeting self worth at best.
Quote of the Week
"Cowardice asks the question, "Is it safe?" Expediency asks the question, "Is it political?" But conscience asks the question, "Is it right?" And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but because conscience tells one it is right."
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.