The Making and Unmaking of Prejudice, An Interchange between Psychology and Religion

Journal of Religion & Society, Volume 11.

By Wioleta Polinska

Whether compassion for all beings in Buddhism, or “love of enemy” in Christianity, unconditional love signifies one of the principal concerns of all world religions. The profound wisdom of various religious traditions has inspired many to embrace the ideal of universal compassion. One example of such an uncompromising love comes from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s approach to the perpetrators of racism. In spite of the overwhelming hostility of his white opponents, King continued to adhere to the principle of unconditional love. In his “Christmas Sermon on Peace,” King asserted, “Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our communities at the midnight hour and . . . leave us half-dead as you beat us, and we will still love you” (256-57). It is unquestionable that King lived up to Jesus’ ideal of universal compassion even under the most trying circumstances. The important question, however, is, How do contemporary, average Christians compare? Granted that only those with unique spiritual commitments are capable of reaching the status of ethical exemplars, would average believers show compassion to strangers in need by emulating the example of a Good Samaritan, or would they bypass the needy?

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(Something interesting I found)Posted: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 by cait
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