Letter to the Editor: Selfless love is the glue for a healthy community and soul | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the Editor: Selfless love is the glue for a healthy community and soul

Bill van Doorninck

Some parents spoke in opposition to the school board’s policy of inclusion and acceptance of children who don’t fit bifurcated gender identities. They claimed that the policy threatens parental sovereignty over what their children are taught; children are too young to understand teaching about diversity; children might be misled or corrupted by such teaching; and acceptance of diversity violates the teachings of their form of Christianity.  

Divine sanction was invoked, so let’s consider the historical figure, in whose name Christianity got its start.  His teaching style avoided admonitions to do this and don’t do that. He challenged listeners to become engaged empathically in a social problem and then arrive at an appropriate response on their own.  

You know the parable of the Good Samaritan. A traveler is mugged and beaten nearly to death. The priest and Levite stay well away. Their religion emphasizes purity and they don’t want to be defiled. Then comes a Samaritan. Samaritans were the ultimate “other” for first century Judeans. They were considered dirty, uncultured, shifty, undesirable.

The story does not emphasize conventional values like reducing crime or being clean and pure. Most of the story describes the lengths to which a despised person goes to meet the needs of the victim. We have a “bad” person behaving nobly and a “good” person behaving badly.   

Might cultural habits and religious/political requirements be excuses for non-love, neglect, and rejection of the other? Might they be excuses for denying in the other the goodness they are capable of? Was not this teacher all about selfless love as the glue for healthy communities and a healthy soul?

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