Sometimes it is difficult to love someone. Sure, we all can love those who believe what we believe, like what we like, think like us and live like us. For example, the U.S. Center for World Mission breaks down various faiths accordingly:
- Christian 33%
- Muslims: 20%
- Hindu: 14%
- Buddhist 6%
- Non-Religious: 12%
- Atheist: 2%
So basically, if you are like Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, N.C., there’s a whole lot of people out there to hate.
For those who don’t know, Pastor Worley recently condemned President Obama’s much-publicized endorsement of same-sex marriage while calling for gays and lesbians to be put in an electrified pen and ultimately killed off. When asked who he would vote for he yells: “I’ll tell you who I ain’t gonna vote for, a baby killer and a homosexual lover!”
So from a Buddhist perspective, I concur that most major religions basically prohibit sexual immorality. But I also believe that believe Buddhism, like other religions, allow for grace and love to transcend the hatred and build stronger ‘Sanghas.’
We all make mistakes, we all suffer. But while we can personally disagree, we must choose to disagree agreeable. Electrified pens are another name for death camps. And this logic, regardless of faith must be condemned. Just as hatred drove the planes of 9/11 into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and an empty field, so does the hatred surrounding the thoughts of Pastor Worley.
As for Pastor Worley, I will always respect him as a person created by God. I just choose to agree to disagree agreeably. But as Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, Orthodox Rabbi, quoted in ‘Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero,’ “…and if you can say that, well, at least you’re honest. I don’t worship the same God, but that at least has integrity.”
Also, Mr. Worley, I suggest you review Mark 12:31 again:
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.