,,,"Social psychologists call it “herd behavior” or the “mob mentality” and have been studying facets of it since the nineteenth century. No one knows better than economists the dangers of it now. And no small part of it happens in religion. Because some people begin to predict the end of the world, other people set calendar dates for a world catastrophe and stack their backyard bunkers with supplies enough to last for years. Worse still, religious madness may well be more engrained in social thought than other social ills. The witch burnings in the United States—the executions of women for “consorting with the devil”—completely belie the very founding ideals of the country. Suppression of religious freedom throughout the world exposes the grain of ignorance that runs through every society that claims concern about God. The attacks on churches in the Middle East, the tribal wars in Africa, the laws of exclusion that followed the great wars of religion in Europe right up to the twentieth century, are clear proof that we have all sinned. We name “differences” madness and make mad attempts to stamp out the other.
But the Desert Monastics, the most
“catholic” of Catholics in an age of pristine revelation, would have none of it.
Abba Antony brooks no doubt: Exclusion in the name of God is the very worst of
religious sins. God speaks in many tongues and to every color and age of people.
It is not ours to decide where God’s favor lies."