“Not In God’s Name” is the title of a book by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 to 2013. It is a book recommended during our Bible studies last week at Archdeaconry Synod in Brittany. It landed in my post box yesterday and it struck me that the title sums up my reaction to a new terrorist attack.
“Not In God’s Name” is my comment to those who kill claiming the protection or justification of or by their god. I am aware that parts of the three Abrahamic faiths could be used in defence of such violence, however I do not accept that it is justified.
Any act that does not have its foundation in love and care for others needs to be carefully examined to find its roots. When we have held our bewilderment before God and pray for forgiveness and peace we are saying that extremists do not speak in our name nor in the name of the God we serve.
We stand with the people of Manchester today and also those in London, New York, Boston, Syria and Egypt, indeed in so many places in our world where people die from senseless attacks.
We stand together, we pray and we speak out.