“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.” (The Dalai Lama) Christians don’t have exclusive rights to acts of mercy and kindness but it is clearly in our religious DNA to perform them. So I’m not saying other faiths or traditions do any better just that Christians, perhaps more than others, should get this right since it is the defining character of the Christ. Far too often the church’s adherence to dogma has allowed it to justify the worst sort of practices. But then Jesus was “despised and rejected” (Isaiah 53) for a reason and while it was certainly for our sin it was as much for his – by that I mean he sinned against the powers that be by daring to be what God had always intended them to be. “I desire mercy not sacrifice.” (Hosea 6:6) That doesn't mean we are not to resist the things of the world that pollute our lives but rather that care for the widow and the orphan (James 1:27) precedes and (perhaps) defines the way one remains pure.