Historical figures are going through a reckoning. They have been for some time. Some with good reason.
Christopher Columbus? Understandable given what was unleashed by his arrival from Europe.
Thomas Jefferson? A paradox that’s worth examining given his ability to pen the Declaration of Independence and also own slaves. In some cases, he fathered children with them.
Other figures haven’t been so obvious. Following the tragic murder of George Floyd last May, many statues were toppled or removed across the United States, including those of 18th century Spanish priest Junipero Serra, Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Gandhi. These weren’t so obvious to explain. I’m not sure those who damaged them knew either.
This takes me to the latest reckoning: Mother Teresa, now known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta.
Yes, that Mother Teresa. The diminutive woman who dedicated her life to helping “the poorest of the poor” in India. And the same one who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and Pope Francis canonized a saint in 2016. Turns out she was a cult leader.
Michelle Goldberg penned an opinion piece in The New York Times, which ran Saturday on its website, under the headline: “Was Mother Teresa a cult leader?”
Read more at Religion Unplugged