There’s more than one way to eat a Reese’s. These words are familiar in our minds. We know the commercial. We picture
ourselves taking a bite into our own peanut-butter cup with personal style.
As consumers of this product, we accept and appreciate variation. Then why is it that in the broader sense of accepting differences, humans have such a problem?
Why is diversity celebrated in the junk food realm and chastised in the forum of religious beliefs? To live in peace, we must realize that harmony stems from acceptance.
Religion plays a starring role on the stage of world war. With phrases like, “holy war” and “waging jihad,” one would expect religious leaders to clean up the mess.
However, Pope Benedict XVI felt the flame of criticism when he recently quoted a 14th century Byzantine emperor who stated
that the prophet Muhammad brought into the world only, “evil and inhuman,” things.
His speech was supposed to aid in the call for peace. Instead, it sparked chaos around the globe. Rationally, an insult to the Islamic faith does not seem to be the way to end a problem. I doubt that the Pope was purposefully inciting hatred, but his words lacked sympathy for Muslim beliefs.
It is unfortunate to hear a religious leader spout such thoughtless commentary.
Even if the words were not originally the Pope’s, he put himself in agreement with them by using them in his speech. A much more viable way of deterring violence through the spoken word seems to be something of the past.
I look for a message of acceptance, and I find the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Maybe all this world needs is a little bit of love. It’s obviously not the first time we’ve heard that. But where is that message in Pope Benedict’s speech?
Perhaps Americans and Christians alike are perceived in a negative light because
of stereotypes and governmental decisions that hardly represent the essence of what “American” and “Christian” infer at their core. Undoubtedly in the world of Islam, Catholics aren’t looking too hot right now. American Catholics probably do not agree with the Pope, but unfortunately, his careless quotation choice allows the world to think twice about Catholicism as an entity.
In this world of infinite diversity, we need to eradicate negative attitudes in order to stop the violence. There has to be an international understanding that it is OK to be different. Volleying insults from faith to faith and country to country doesn’t help to make progress. Does it really matter that some people worship Buddha and some people think God is dead?
As long as you can choose your own path, there shouldn’t be such a problem. As a religious leader and international
figure, the Pope should have spoken more carefully.
It seems that the critical element to success in world unity is an undivided respect within a much divided populace. We must all think for ourselves and eat our Reese’s the way we choose. But we should also regard other ways of eating peanut-butter cups with respect. Besides, a world of peace, peanut butter and chocolate
sounds pretty good to me.
Erin Bernard can be reached at