For me, today has been a rough day. The mall I go to every day I am in Manila was bombed killing 9 and injuring well over 100. The pictures in the various news media are all so real to me.
How does one deal with issues like war between religions? In 2005, as you will see in some of my other entries, I was at the Glroietta Mall (which is where the bomb was today) and took a taxi back to the apartment in Pasay City but when we turned on the TV when we got home, we discovered that two buses had been bombed within yards of where we had passed in the taxi just a short few minutes before.
The Muslim factions which are trying to gain independence in the south of the Philippines took responsibility for the bus bombings. It is suspected in the first news stories that this bombing is also the responsibility of those same militant groups.
In Africa I met a wonderful Muslim man who admitted to me he could not take the words of militant Muslims at face value – he kept saying it is a culture war, a war for political control and not a religious war. Is that true? I know I find militant Christians say some ridiculous things. Are they only going for political control?
I have used the term militant but they are sometimes called fundamentalists. They tend to believe in absolutes and they tend to be the ones who wish to interpret the absolute.
In my opinion, God wants us to be accepting of others. That does not mean that we give up on spirituality and our belief in God (after all, Christians, Muslims, and Hindus all believe in one God although they have very different ways sometimes in reaching the One God. My belief is extremely strong. I believe in God. I want to do what God wants. For me that means LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR.
Back to the bombing in Makati (Manila). I feel very strongly that prayer is needed for the victims of the bombing. BUT, I believe the greater need is for prayer that all over the world we will pray for conciliation between religious groups.