Friday, November 3, 2017

Unbecoming of a leader

For our Governor General Julie Payett to scoff at people who have a different belief system than the one she’s chosen for herself, is decidedly not becoming of a Canadian leader.

When the future of the world could very well depend on all of us promoting understanding, respect and tolerance among people of differing cultures and beliefs, her speech rang crass.

We all choose our beliefs, as she has chosen hers and she has a right to her beliefs and a right to promote those beliefs, as do the rest of us.  But it is not becoming of her or any of us to consider ourselves more intelligent, more worthy, more valuable, wiser than others because of our beliefs.  And when she scoffed at people with different beliefs than hers, she sent the message she feels superior to them.

She was not just scoffing at the beliefs, but the believers which makes it even harder to accept.

That she has chosen science as her religion, makes her no better than anyone who hasn’t. And yes, we do choose our beliefs. Anyone of us could choose be an atheist, a Muslim, a Christian, or a follower of Judaism.

That she says her choice to believe in science makes her better than others, displays a lack of wisdom, a misunderstanding of humanity, an ignorance of the science of the human nature. The fact is, for many people, spirituality is a fundamental need.

Both science and religion have given us blessings as well as curses. Science does not hold a superior moral standing to religion, for after all it is science that gave us nuclear weapons...and greenhouse gases. She would do well to also study the science behind the sugar pill and the mind. The evidence supporting the existence of their power might surprise her.

We need to respect each other and each other’s’ belief systems. Yes, we should all feel free to discuss our beliefs, argue them, explore them, believe them the best—but we have no license to deride people who believe differently than us, or to believe ourselves superior to them.

Your Excellence Madam Payett, science without heart is an empty vessel indeed—perhaps even a dangerous one.
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