|people coming together as one|
we found our grocery receipt from that day -- it reads 12:03pm. the gunmen were probably in the upper parking lot by that time. shots were reported soon after we left. we usually shop there on Saturday afternoons..but not yesterday. by the grace of God and His Will we were inspired to leave our home earlier to avoid the crowds and have most of the day at home to unpack our shipment which had just arrived on Friday.
we keep pondering what would have happened if we were there..
"There has been a revival of religious fanaticism in all parts of the globe, and among people of varied faiths. It is a truly worldwide phenomenon and, in our view, a deeply disturbing one, for religious fanaticism breeds hatred and violence. We need not look far to find numerous examples in the world today of the civil strife, terror and human suffering that religious fanaticism has wreaked upon religious communities and entire nations. Its pernicious influence can be found at the root of all too many of the wars, conflicts and other ills undermining peace in the world, including the problem of terrorism.
"Fanaticism represents a perversion of religion and is directly contrary to the humane teachings brought by the Founders of all the great religions of the world. We believe that the purpose of every religion has been to promote unity among all the peoples of the world, and to outlaw war and violence in human affairs. All the major religions have taught the "Golden Rule." The violence and disruption associated with religious fanaticism testifies to its spiritual emptiness. Fanaticism destroys the very foundations of human solidarity by dividing the world into contending factions, each believing itself to be superior to others and to have an exclusive claim on religious truth. These actions and attitudes negate the very purpose of religion."
~ Baha'i International Community, 1987 Mar 03, Eliminating Religious Intolerance
"From the seed of reality, religion has grown into a tree which has put forth leaves and branches, blossoms and fruit. After a time this tree has fallen into a condition of decay. The leaves and blossoms have withered and perished; the tree has become stricken and fruitless. It is not reasonable that man should hold to the old tree, claiming that its life forces are undiminished, its fruit unequaled, its existence eternal.
The seed of reality must be sown again in human hearts in order that a new tree may grow therefrom and new divine fruits refresh the world. By this means the nations and peoples now divergent in religion will be brought into unity, imitations will be forsaken and a universal brotherhood in the reality itself will be established. Warfare and strife will cease among mankind; all will be reconciled as servants of God. For all are sheltered beneath the tree of His providence and mercy.
God is kind to all; He is the giver of bounty to all alike, even as His Holiness Jesus Christ has declared that God "sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust"; that is to say, the mercy of God is universal. All humanity is under the protection of His love and favor, and unto all He has pointed the way of guidance and progress."
~ Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 226