EDITORIAL: Striving for the greater good

A show of unity, rather than division, needed for all faiths

It all comes down to faith.

At a time of year when so many are celebrating their religious beliefs and urging others to live up to the selfless principles encouraged by their spiritual leaders, we’re also in the midst of the evolution of a virtual holy war brought out by more-opportunistic political leaders preying on the baser, less-selfless instincts of their followers.

That the intended audience is often one and the same speaks volumes.

And we must maintain confidence that only the former will prevail.

Those who seek to divide and conquer by exploiting mankind’s most ethnocentric tendencies cannot be rewarded, whatever their religious base.

Whether it is the threat of putting up walls – figuratively or, even more worrisome, literally – as has been trumpeted south of our border, or the fear-mongering rhetoric splashed across our own country during this past fall’s federal election, the message from those striving to profit politically from these sentiments is clear.

And there are many – at home and abroad – who are taking the message to heart.

Even some who find themselves the target of the most prominent xenophobia in recent years are buying into the ‘us against them’ mentality, with swelling support for extremist leaders carrying out unspeakable violent acts in the name of faith.

That there are not real, inherent dangers from other political leaders in other cultures exploiting these same fears cannot be successfully argued – but that is not reason to add to the mayhem, bigotry and potential for violence.

Rather, it should be a call to gain better understanding of other religions, cultures and political bodies worldwide, in an effort to forge a united front against those who wish to inflict harm upon innocent people.

Whether one’s faith heralds the Abrahamic, Indian or Chinese religions – or whether one has no belief in a higher being – there is an inherent drive to do good for this world.

Those who choose to divide us further based on our beliefs must have ulterior motivation.

We trust that the right-thinking majority at this spiritual time of year – indeed any time of year – will strive to work for our greater good.