A funny story tells about a rabbi and a priest that met at the town picnic and began their usual “kibitzing.”
“This baked ham is just delicious,” the priest teased the rabbi. “You really should try some. I know it’s against your religion, but I can’t understand why such a wonderful thing should be forbidden. You just don’t know what you’re missing. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried Mrs. Kennedy’s baked ham. Tell me, when are you going to break down and try a little ham?”
The rabbi looked at the priest, smiled and said, “At your wedding.”
It’s clear that much of the conflict between people of differing religious beliefs, particularly deeply-held religious beliefs, stems from the assertion that “we” are right and “they” are wrong. Our beliefs, our history, our practices are true, theirs are false. But can one group have a monopoly on truth?
Truth is light, wherever it is found. It is the sun in the noonday sky, shining on all universally. It cannot be bottled and sold or dispensed in secret tomes and ceremonies. It cannot be stolen, hidden or possessed by one group over another. Truth, like the sun, is viewed in different ways and known by different names. It is seen differently from different angles, but it shines in all directions.
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark,” said Plato. “The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” Afraid of truth. And afraid of one another.
I await the day that all people, all religions, walk in the light. And as they walk, they listen and understand. And in their understanding, they laugh.
When the day comes that they laugh, they’ll know how to walk together in light.