Letter to the editor | Teachings not unique

January 9, 2013 

In his Clergy Column of Dec. 22, Rev. Kenneth Codner appears to be asserting that the teachings that God is love and that we should love one another are a “uniqueness of biblical Christianity.”

God is love, and we humans need to learn to love everything (not just humans), but these teachings are not unique to Christianity, they are common to religions throughout the world.

In his book, How to Expand Love, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Tibetan Buddhist His Holiness the Dalai Lama, says, “All religions teach a message of love, compassion, sincerity, and honesty. Each system seeks its own way to improve life for us all … Religion may have become synonymous with deep philosophical issues, but it is love and compassion that lie at the heart of religion.”

Hindu saint Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, known as Amma, “The Hugging Saint,” teaches: “God is not a form. God is the love that exists in all of creation.” She says, “In the end, love is the only medicine that can heal the wounds of the world. In this universe, it is love that binds everything together.”

Revered 13th century Sufi mystic Jalaluddin Rumi said: “Our bodies, our minds, and even our souls are the abodes of love, not love itself. Love exists everywhere around us and permeates everything — it is the treasure of this world, and by its very essence it cannot be kept captive inside our own coffers.”

Teaching that a loving God and the admonition to love one another are messages unique to Christianity only serves to further religious misunderstanding and possibly intolerance, the antithesis of Christ’s message of universal love.

Shih-In Ma

State College

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