By John C. Marston ’13
An Oct. 8 bomb attack perpetuated by Islamic extremists kills 12 in northern Afghanistan.
The Vatican equates woman priesthood as high a sin as pedophilia.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks called off once again, due to Jewish settlers demolishing homes in the name of Yahweh.
These are just some examples of religion rearing a not-quite-so-pleasant demeanor on the world stage.
Faith is an intriguing concept, where the greatest acts of kindness and barbarity can be conceived from the same beliefs.
What once might have been a place to nurture spiritual development and purpose beyond oneself has in many ways melded into polarized and ugly dregs of its former self, expressed through a hotbed of intolerance, where an us vs. them dichotomy prevails.
In the quest for doctrinal purity, ignorance breeds.
All of these consequences sound to be coming from some backward nether region, but in reality they are close to home.
The opposite can be seen here on the Brophy campus, and is rooted in the nature of the sect that runs this institution.
The Jesuits, founded by Saint Ignatius of Loyola in 1540, fundamentally respect transparent dialogue where the fusion of reason and faith are upheld.
While the Jesuit identify is pushed at our school, it is done in a respectful manner and allows tolerance for other worldviews and faiths.
A defining example of this would be the Senior Synthesis Paper, where as a senior, you write on your particular religious preference—not just Catholicism.
This experiment fully embodies Brophy’s quest for intellectual, self-guided, faith-based, enlightenment where the student, not the censor, is in control.
It is human nature to rebel, and allowing space to explore is the best way to advance religious guidance, not a narrow agenda where the only alternative to rebel is atheism.
Mikhail Bakunin once said, “freedom, morality and human dignity of the individual consists precisely in this; that he does good not because he is forced to do so, but because he freely conceives it, wants it and loves it.”
Brophy and the Jesuits live by this.
We would live in a better world if everyone did.