A few short quotations about religious/spiritual matters

Mohandas K. Gandhi (the Mahatma) said this:  “I claim that human mind or human society is not divided into watertight compartments called social, political and religious. All act and react upon one another.”


Thich Nhat Hanh, the great Zen Buddhist mystic, said this:  What we need is not another doctrine, but an awakening that can restore our spiritual strength. What made Mahatma Gandhi’s struggle a great success was not a doctrine—not even the doctrine of nonviolence—but Gandhi himself, his way of being. A lot is written today about the doctrine of nonviolence and people everywhere are trying to apply it. But they cannot rediscover the vitality that Gandhi had, because the ‘Gandhians’ do not possess Gandhi’s spiritual strength. They have faith in his doctrine but cannot set into motion a movement of great solidarity because none of them possess the spiritual force of a Gandhi and therefore cannot produce sufficient compassion and sacrifice.”


James W. Douglass, the great peace activist and theologian, wrote this in his book Lightning East to West:  “Is there a spiritual reality, inconceivable to us today, which corresponds in history to the physical reality which Einstein discovered and which led to the atomic bomb? Einstein discovered a law of physical change: the way to convert a single particle of matter into enormous physical energy. Might there not also be, as Gandhi suggested, an equally incredible and undiscovered law of spiritual change, whereby a single person or a small community of persons could be converted into an enormous spiritual energy capable of transforming a society and a world?”


This ancient Hebrew prophet’s wisdom is relevant now as good advice for our current situation:  A friend sent an e-mail saying that the gist of some ancient prophets “claims that ultimately the love and pathos of God will prevail if and when the people can manage a change of heart from self-centeredness to an ethic and behavior that serves the common good, and especially rights the grievous wrongs against the poor and marginalized.”


Jesus practiced socialized medicine.  He did not charge co-pays or exclude people with pre-existing conditions.  The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II ( a leader of the Poor People’s Campaign) said this about the movement for Universal Single-Payer Health Care:  “If someone calls it socialism, then we must compel them to acknowledge that the Bible promotes socialism. Because Jesus offered free healthcare to everyone, and he never charged a leper a co-pay.”