It seems today more than ever it is popular to tout your religious affiliations then behave in a manner that totally contradicts the teachings of that faith.

People bash others for human error, personal differences and even natural disasters that no one person could possibly have control over, defending their right to the verbal and/or physical attacks by making claims that this or that  happened because a certain individual or group is not a “believer” so now somehow society must suffer consequences for the non-believer’s supposed  actions!

Ann Coulter and Osama bin Laden come to mind. Both individuals proclaim to be true believers; they wear their religious emblems for all to see, proclaim their religious affiliation verbally to all, yet they both display behaviors that completely contradict the teachings of their faith and those of their founding religious leaders.

Closer to home, we may observe community members using their given rights to display religious verses, a book of faith or the latest published copy of a current popular faith-based author for all to see; they may even proclaim which house of worship they attend regularly (or better yet, ones that they would NEVER enter). This is often followed by being prominently placed in that house of faith so that anyone can see that they are indeed present and accounted for each day of worship.

Yet, when opportunities arise to show love, compassion and good will to those that may or may not deserve it in their very human eyes, these individuals will behave in ways that contradict their personally professed teachings.

No one should need to state what their faith is; people will clearly see the true person by their actions, behaviors and words.

We teach by how we live — so.... First Do No Harm!

Connie Hammersley-Wilson

Ottumwa

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