Week 25: Hero – The Religious Leaders of Berlin

by Ray_North on June 23, 2014

hero_icon2This week’s Heroes of the Week are the Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders in Berlin.

And let’s name them: step forward – Rabbi Tovia Ben Chorin; Imam, Kadir Sanci, and Pastor Gregor Hohberg.

An unusual choice from the lads at Allthatsleft this week (did I really refer to us in the third person!) to choose not one but three religious leaders.

As followers of this blog will have appreciated, the prevailing view on religion is one of atheism, but, I hope respect for those who believe in some kind of deity or take religious teaching seriously. One thing we definitely don’t do though – is dismiss religion as an important social and cultural element of our age. How could we – when we have assorted lunatics from the West and the East attempting to use religion to assert a powerful and oppressive dominance over ordinary people.

And that is what we hate – the way in which organised religion has been used as a tool of control and an excuse and justification for racism and murder and crime.

In recent years – good Muslims, Jews and Christians have been tarnished by the minority of their leaders who pursue a fiercely aggressive and often brutal form of their religion – which includes a profound hostility towards anyone who is different.

That is why we were pleased this week to hear about the plans in Berlin to build the ‘House of One’ a massive building that will serve as a Synagogue, Mosque and Church so that all people of those particular religions (plus others I suppose) can do what they do under one roof – obviously no one is suggesting that they all get together at the same time (alas, that would be too much to expect), but the fact that they are prepared to create a building together rather than put as much space as they can literally and metaphorically between themselves.

I doubt that the religious leaders of Berlin will be able to convince us who write on these pages of the presence of a creator who must be worshipped, but, nevertheless, we salute them for trying to create something that is inclusive.

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