Local Pastor: Reject Prejudice

“Imagine defining Christianity by the actions of the Irish Republican Army of the 1960s or the white supremacist groups here in America today who wrap their hatred in Christian doctrine.”

That’s the question asked by Rev. Mark S. Bollwinkel, senior pastor of Los Altos United Methodist Church, in an article that appeared yesterday for the Los Altos Town Crier.

Rev. Bollwinkel challenges his readers to recognize that all too often the American people “let the Osama Bin Ladens of the world define for us the religion and life of the 1.2 billion Muslims in the world.”

Reading his comments, I am reminded of two of the “Ten Commandments of Interreligious Dialogue:” that we should compare practices and not just ideals, and that participants should be permitted to define themselves. He calls for “humility” and a “willingness to learn” as fundamental paths toward defeating terrorism.

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