Last October, eleven worshippers at the at Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania were murdered during Shabbat morning services by a man whose only knowledge of his victims was that they were Jewish. And he hated Jews. It was the worst anti-Semitic attack in American history.
Shortly afterwards, a Brooklyn synagogue was vandalized by a man who was spurred to action by the Pittsburgh slaughter.
Hate begets hate.
In response, Jewish leaders called for people of all faiths to join them for Shabbat services as a way to support the victims in Pittsburgh. I hope their plea found willing ears.
Religion—indeed any of man’s ideas or affiliations—can be used to either divide or unite us. The decision to divide or unite lies at the crossroads of civilization and barbarism, Heaven and Hell.
The lessons of history tell us that people of good will MUST support each other, despite our differences. It is a lesson that sometimes gets forgotten.
Leah Remini serves as a bellows for the fires of hate against the Jehovah’s witnesses, and the flames grow higher. In 2018, four Jehovah’s Witness Churches in Washington State were damaged or destroyed by arson, while another was riddled by gunfire.
“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
“Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist.
“Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
“Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemöller spoke these timeless words after spending seven years in a Nazi concentration camp. They are as true today as they were in 1945.
The lessons of history tell us that people of good will MUST support each other, despite our differences. It is a lesson that sometimes gets forgotten, as the anti-religious profit by holding religion up to ridicule and scorn and by exaggerating our differences.
Instead, let us focus on the good in each other.
Scientologists, of course, formed the Volunteer Ministers.
Other religions have given the world: the YMCA, the Salvation Army, Child Fund International, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Habitat For Humanity, Promise Keepers, World Relief, Christian Aid Ministries, International Needs, Samaritan’s Purse, Homeboy Industries, Covenant House, Free Wheelchair Mission, Mercy-USA, Life for Relief and Development, Islamic Relief USA, Muslim Aid, ICNA Relief (Muslims for Humanity), Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, American Jewish World Service, and Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief, to name a few.
A complete list would contain the names of thousands of individuals and organizations, and would probably include more people than all the world’s armies combined.
Peace and brotherhood are possible. But people of good will have to support each other.
Scientologists worldwide feel for those dealing with tragedy in Pittsburgh, Brooklyn, and elsewhere. We understand the plight of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Washington State.
We are fighting the same enemy. By working together, we will all win.