Here we see again the motivating power of religion. This surprises many. Secularism is supposedly on the rise, religion on the wane. An objective viewer of the world stage would conclude that the opposite is the case.
Of course, as the current incident demonstrates, this is not always a good thing. Blaise Pascal once said, "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction." The truth is, as I believe Martin Luther said, that there can be as much sin in a person’s religious life as their sex life. Neither religion or sex is inherently good or evil. It can be either. Religion can motivate our greatest acts of love and of evil.
There are others in Israel that are motivated by a different biblical vision than that of Amir. It is the vision of the prophet Ezekiel. God, through Ezekiel, commands the people when returning from another exile: "You are to distribute this land among the tribes of Israel and assign it by lot as a share for yourselves and for any aliens who are living in your midst."
Walter Brueggemann wrote almost 20 years ago: "Obviously Christians have no advice to give. But perhaps it is important to assert... that grasping leads to homelessness and gift leads to home. That is what our common history has taught."
©C. David Hess