Monday, December 28, 2009
Jerusalem, The Eternal City
I am just about finished with reading a book with the same title as this post, authored by Kelly Ogden, David Galbraith, and Andrew Skinner. It is a wonderful book that I have thoroughly enjoyed - as evidenced by the fact that, unlike most books I begin to read, I will actually finish this one. I thought I would share here a quote from page 401 of the book as it really struck me as a pretty succinct statement of why things are so difficult in Jerusalem, and, by the way, why it is so very important to the world that there be a true prophet on the earth; someone who can, with authority, speak for and represent God:
"While law is technically an instrument for resolving conflict, in the case of the holy places in Jerusalem, it appears to be less applicable. Part of the problem is that religious precepts by their very nature reject compromise. An individual may waive personal interests, but no individual may waive rights on behalf of his God. In disputes over holy places, the principal litigant - in this case God - is absent, as it were, and is represented by mortals who, rightly or wrongly, believe that they are not at liberty to yield anything on his behalf. Therein lies the crux of the problem with Jerusalem. Additionally, a secular state with a religiously mixed population must be neutral in religious matters. That requires the state to be both liberal and tolerant - a position that satisfies no one."
Posted by R. L. Hall at 10:06 PM