Those were the words of Pope Francis, mentor to the world’s Catholics, who marked the way of the cross Friday in an empty St. Peter’s Square. Not being religious, I usually refrain from commenting on religions. I am making an exception for this Easter.
I do take an interest in world religions. They often get involved in politics. For example, I have always been amazed at how religious conservatives can vote for a hypocrite such as Donald Trump. This man is not just a philanderer and a narcissist, but you will find his Sunday morning worship is usually taken up at one of his golf courses. And religious Americans do not seem to care.
It is also most concerning in this time of the novel coronavirus, that some states in the U.S. are denying the danger of covid-19. These fools are killing their own people. And there are churches in those states that are calling their parishioners to worship. Collecting the simple among us to be struck by the pandemic is gross negligence and murder. There should be no absolution for that.
And we should all be concerned about what is happening in the Muslim world. Iran has already suffered cruelly from the pandemic. This is a theocracy with 20th century technology, run by 17th century theologians. The Middle East is a cauldron threatening constantly to boil over and reach outside its borders. The prophet Muhammad might have proposed a peaceful religion, but its adherents are seething in many areas and calling for jihad and new caliphates. And can Arabia’s Saud family really cancel the Haj?
And what of the subcontinent where a snap lockdown of millions caused panic and a massive migration of itinerant workers. And with a religious fanatic such as Modi in charge in New Delhi, there is no telling the course of the disease for Hindus and Muslims alike.
Politically, it looks as though China and Canada might be coming through the pandemic with the economic capability for fast recovery. Just stay isolated, wash your hands and follow the rules—and there is little harm in a few prayers.
Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry
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