Just watched a documentary on a visit by Karen Armstrong, British writer and religion-expert. She is in The Netherlands to promote a new book, and for that she held a speech that was partly broadcast tonight. She says many interesting things about the relationship between religion and politics, and also about religion as such. I have to acknowledge the fact that she is an expert on the major world religions. But: there is a catch.
One of her main statements is that there is a golden rule in any major religion that says: Do not do to another that you would not want done to yourself. Sounds good, and you’d almost agree with it. However, Jesus’ golden rule is slightly different. In his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus ends by saying: All those things, then, which you would have men do to you, even so do you to them: because this is the law and the prophets. He turns the passive, negatively formulated ‘golden rule’ around to a positive action statement. Actually, he goes a step further. In Mattew chapter 22 he says: Love your neighbour as you love yourself. And, in my humble opinion, he did not only talk it but walked it as well.
Now that is what I call a golden rule! If we would only strive for this, the world would be already a better place.