"The world's on fire, the world's on fire, the world's on fire ... God help us!"
Those were the words of the hymn playing in the Palatine gurdwara at a service to remember those shot in the Oak Creek, Wis., Sikh massacre. And so it seems. The world's on fire, and if you follow the news around the world you can see the images and feel the heat.
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The motive in all this senseless tragedy seems to be one of simple ignorance. We all lost members of our family (the human race) that Sunday in God's house of worship, of all places.
As an active segment of our suburban population the Sikh community opens its doors to everyone. All are welcome to the Sunday worship of one God where the equality of men and women is celebrated. Service to others with humility is demonstrated by a communal meal after the service. These people are doctors, engineers, business owners, factory workers and, more importantly, grandparents, moms and dads, and kids who love sports. Just like everyone else they are about family.
Their religion preaches love as do the Catholics, Baptists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists, Mormons and Jews. We have in the world millions of places of worship that encourage loving one another including Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists. We are killing our own family members.
The concluding hymn at the Sikh temple was one that told the people to accept the fact that bad things do happen. We must try to make something good come of it. Perhaps it is the renewal of an interfaith dialogue. Perhaps it is in educating everyone on the glaring sameness of ourselves as human beings.
The world's on fire. God help us.
Rita L. Mullins