191. At a time when various forms of fundamentalist intolerance are damaging relationships between individuals, groups and peoples, let us be committed to living and teaching the value of respect for others, a love capable of welcoming differences, and the priority of the dignity of every human being over his or her ideas, opinions, practices and even sins.
This would seem to be descriptive not only of our own era, but also the Lord’s example in his own time on Earth. Sadly, today it is easier to find companions in extreme minorities who encourage withdrawal from people in one’s own neighborhood. Before the internet, one had to deal with different opinions. Or people were more guarded in extreme views. Today, we have a wave of fragmentation.
Even as forms of fanaticism, closedmindedness and social and cultural fragmentation proliferate in present-day society, a good politician will take the first step and insist that different voices be heard. Disagreements may well give rise to conflicts, but uniformity proves stifling and leads to cultural decay. May we not be content with being enclosed in one fragment of reality.
I suspect the indulgence for uniformity will result in more continued fragmenting of human relationships. How much of it is a learned behavior?
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