Holocaust series shows danger in mixing politics, religion

As I’ve watched Ken Burn’s new PBS documentary series, “U.S. and the Holocaust,” the common thread running throughout the history of politics is religion and ideology. Religion and ideology are often the same thing when one reflects on the need people seem to have to have someone to demonize, reality to shun and to feel self-righteous as a result.

It seems all wars are holy wars on some level. Then I began to feel very fortunate that our societies have found a way to be more attached to the real world and to find justice and kindness in our hearts. The world has come so far so fast, it’s frightening to think of backsliding like we have most certainly done the last while.

My last thought was that children believe everything their tribe teaches them. Then they seem to find their own tribes to follow. But children will believe most anything and base those beliefs simply on trust and acceptance. It seems that I am living these days in a world of children.

Religion and ideologies are OK to a point, but being emotionally mature means to have the ability to face facts and accept what history tells us about how ignorant, violent, hateful and willfully shunning of reality humans can be. I do think that this sort of reality therapy Burns is offering is just what the present needs. As Mark Twain said, history rhymes.

Rick Walker

Snohomish

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